Ferrara-based fresh produce marketing body Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli is predicting one of the smallest stonefruit crops in Italy's recent history, according to Corriere Ortofrutticolo.
According to the magazine, the bulk of the downturn has occurred in the south of Italy, where output is estimated to be down by 12 per cent year-on-year for peaches and by 9 per cent for nectarines.
Peach volumes in the central part of the country are also predicted to fall by 6 per cent in 2008.
Overall peach production across Italy is set to be down 24 per cent on the 2005 figure, 22 per cent lower than in 2004 and 9 per cent down on the volume seen in 2003.
Nectarine production, meanwhile, is also expected to be down 12 per cent on the 2005 figure, down 17 per cent on 2004, although up 9 per cent compared with 2003.
Official predicted volumes are due to be released this week.