Trade, import and export of Peaches
The European Union, in 2010, produced about 4.1 million tons of peaches and nectarines: Italy is altogether the first world producer for the production of peaches, nectarines and percoche peaches, producing about 1.6 million tons of peaches (39%), with a slight decreasing trend. Italy is followed by Spain, with 1.2 million tons (28%) of peaches produced, Greece, with 800 thousand tons (20%) of peaches and France, that, with less than 400 thousand tons (8%) of peaches produce, has a decreasing production of peaches, but still remains definitely active as to the exports of peaches.
The European Union is a strong producer and exporter of peaches and nectarines. In 2010 the export of peaches reached 277 thousand tons, with a strongly growing trend compared to the 120 thousand tons esteemed in 2001. Regarding the import instead, in 2010 the EU imported 27 thousand tons with a quite steady trend since 2010 and a decreasing trend until 2011.
Spain and Greece are the countries that nowadays are supporting the strong trend of exports of peaches and of nectarines.The imports of peaches in Europe (average data 2006-2010), even though limited, because of the European primacy in the production of peaches as opposed to the rest of the world, come from Chile (39%), South Africa (22%) and Morocco (10%), while the exports of peaches are directed mainly to Russia (50%), Ukraine and Switzerland. At a European level, Germany and France are, instead, the major European importers of peaches and nectarines.
Thanks to the early harvesting, Spain controls since forever the world fruit and vegetable market in May and June, exporting peaches, in these months, even In Italy, main European competitor in the production of peaches, nectarines and percoche peaches.
In 2011, there was also an increase in the exports of Italian peaches and nectarines, in particular to Russia and other fruit and vegetable markets in the East of Europe, thanks to a recovery of the local economies and to a lower offer of the fruit and vegetable product from Spain, France and Greece. Most of the peaches and nectarines produced in Italy are assigned to the fresh consumption, both on the internal market and on the foreign market.
As to the trade of Italian peaches, consumers usually prefer large fruits, while smaller fruits are exported. In 2011, unfortunately, there was a decrease in the consumption of peaches, because of a lower harvest (very late), very cheap prices paid to producers of peaches and steady or higher prices on the final fruit and vegetable market.
The Italian exports of peaches were mainly assigned to the EU fruit and vegetable markets. In spite of a strong competition of Spain and Greece, the exports of Italian peaches increased in 2010/11 and it seems that they will increase even more in 2012. On the total volume of the entire production of peaches, 146,300 tons were exported to Germany, about 26,000 tons to Great Britain, 24,100 tons of peaches to Poland and 22,550 to Austria. The Czech Republic imported from Italy, 18,600 tons of peaches and nectarines, followed by Sweden and Denmark with 12,700 and 11,500 tons. Finally, Italy exported 10,600 tons of peaches and nectarines in Romania.
The price of peaches in the different European countries that produce peaches are quite similar, also because of quite similar costs, but with some typical characteristics: constancy of this fruit and vegetable product during all the season in Spain, strong differences from one year to another, probably due to quality aspects, in France, and last a limited periodicity and a strong variability in the production of peaches in Italy.
The quantity of peaches and nectarines coming from the basin to the European Union are now small, being only 1% in quantity and 1.4% in value on the total amount of peaches imported from the European Union. Almost the totality of this fruit and vegetable product came from Turkey, but, with years, an increase in the imports of peaches from Morocco, which has now overcome Turkey, was noted, thanks to an increase in the import od peaches from this country and a parallel decrease of products coming from Turkey.