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Stone fruit production plummets across France

The Minister of Agriculture estimates peach, nectarine, brugnon and pavie production will reach almost 200,000 tons, 10% less than that recorded last year and 9% below the 2013-2017 average. Apricot production is expected to be 14% below that recorded last year and 7% lower than the 2013-2017 average. Early varieties of the fruits were effected by frost in February, mainly in the Roussillon (the Gard region was less effected). Apricot production in the Languedoc and Roussillon is expected to plummet to 15% below that of 2017 and previously increasing acreage has slowed down this year. 

 

The storms in the PACA region in May on top of the damage from frost on early varieties led apricot production to decrease by 9%, however production potential for late varieties remains optimistic. Acreage has decreased by 2% over the year due to uprooting in the Vaucluse. Peach, nectarine, brugnon and pavie production in the PACA region is expected to decrease by 8% over the year, but still remain 5% above the average. Acreage will have decreased by 2% over the year. 

 

Apricot production in the Rhone valley is expected to be 14% below that recorded last year due to weather conditions. Frost effected production, followed by hail in the spring. The mild and humid weather in May then led to fungus. Production should begin by mid June and acreage is expected to remain stable. Peach, nectarine, brugnon and pavie calibres are satisfactory in the Rhone valley. Fruit thinning is weak and vegetation one week late. Production is expected to plummet by 10% compared to last year due to a 5% decrease in peach acreage. The decrease in yield remains within the five year average. 

 

A decrease in production is also noted across Europe. Medfel estimates peach, nectarine, brugnon and pavie harvests to see an 11% decrease compared to 2017 and 4% compared to the 2012-2016 average. A spiral of cold weather, frost, then rain effected volume. Spain and Italy, the main production countries see a clear decrease of 14% and 16% respectively. Apricot production across Europe is expected to plummet by 18% compared to 2017, which was very high, but still remain 8% above the 2012-2016 average. Spanish apricot production is expected to increase by 9% over the year, 38% above the 2012-2016 average thanks to new plantations starting production. Italian production is expected to drop by 33% over the year, ending up close to the average. 


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