Production volume of peaches and nectarines in China is forecast to increase to 12m tonnes in the 2019/20 marketing year (12 months to 31 December 2019), according to a USDA Gain report.
This forecast represents an 11 per cent increase from the previous year, a rebound from when freezing temperature stuck peach crops in northern China.
The peach and nectarine planted area is estimated at 860,000ha in 2019/20, up slightly from the previous year. The report said improved farming technology such as greenhouse facilities and the development of new varieties is helping to extend the domestic supply season.
The season now begins in early May and ends in late October, with the bulk of supplies entering the market in July and August.
The increased supply of domestic stonefruit is affecting consumption trends according to the report. Chinese consumers are becoming more selective about fruit quality, with peaches and nectarines often marketed as having special flavours or characteristics to provide a point of difference.
A rebound in China’s peach and nectarine exports is also expected to mirror the rebound in production, with forecasts predicting a year-on-year increase of 26 per cent, to 80,000 tonnes. These will be shipped to the main importers of Chinese peaches and nectarines including Kazakhstan, Russia and Vietnam.
China’s domestic production will account for the majority of peach and nectarine consumption given the country’s low volume of imports, however, this volume is slowly increasing.
The two dominant suppliers, Chile and Australia, are expected to increase their import volumes in 2019/20, especially since the removal of Chinese tariffs on Australian stonefruit on 1 January.