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Less stone fruit available in Europe

The European stone fruit production has categorically fallen to figures not yet officially valued, but which could be around 20% overall.
The official calculations, expected at the end of May, will indicate these valuations which could vary significantly from one region to another.
For the first time in history, at the Perpignan forum in April, the forecasts for the Northern European producers were not known for the Spanish, Italian and Greek regions. “At the end of April, we consider it to be very risky to give forecasts and even more so with the weather conditions we have experienced during this winter. However, beforehand, we know that there will be an important drop in the harvest all over Europe, which in overall terms could reach 20%,” Manel Simón, manager of the Catalonian organisation Afrucat explains.
The winter passed with temperatures that were above average, which damaged the development of the trees to a large extent. The flowering stage, normally lasting around 15 days, was prolonged to 30 or even 40 days, which generated a greater risk of frosts. “The general observation is that there is a lower intensity of produce and therefore, less need for thinning of the trees,” the Catalonian executive states.
Southern Italy forecasts. In the regions of southern Italy, Basilicata, Campaña, Apulia and Calabria, according to the first estimates, a drop of 7% has been recorded compared to 2015.
The productions from the island of Sicily represent a particular case and its production is in the same situation as the more northern regions, therefore no estimates have been made yet.
Spain. In Andalusia, Murcia and Valencia the earliest varieties have been reduced due to different frosts, particularly due to the ones that occurred in February. The first impressions point towards the fact that the situation will not be regulated until the month of June.
In the season that is just starting now, the interest that the yellow peach is generating again should be emphasised. After a difficult decade for the production of pavia peaches all over Europe, where the market has profited from a readjustment, pavia peaches are once again attracting producers.
Apricots. An official estimate has been given for this production and the first calculations are showing a European drop of 11%, which could be translated into a greater reduction in spite of the Greek recovery. France has dropped its production compared to the previous year by 25%, with Italy reducing its production by 19%.
The surface area of flat peach plantations in Catalonia now exceeds that of red round peaches, making a total of 5,500 tonnes. Production of the red round peach is below 5,000 tonnes.
Commercial questions. In the overall calculation, Spanish exports exceeded the Italian exports in 2005, but over the past three years exports from Catalonia alone make up more than all of the exports from Italy.

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