The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a new Gain report covering Polish stonefruit, revealing that 2016 sweet and sour cherry production in the country is expected to increase on the previous year.
According to the report, total cherry production will hit 235,00 tonnes this year, up 3.1 per cent, made up of 185,000 tonnes of sour cherries and 50,000 tonnes of sweet cherries.
While planted area fell due to some growers giving up on unprofitable production, growing conditions generally were good with a mild winter and no losses, with plantations looking "in very good shape" according to the USDA.
Last year's exports of fresh dessert cherries was higher than 2014 by 43 per cent in volume terms, coming in at 17,580 tonnes and a value of US$13.1m – although the increase in exports did not translate to an increase in income, the report noted, with that representing a drop of 7 per cent.
The Russian ban on fresh produce from Poland has greatly impacted on cherry export destinations, with Russia the main market for cherries until the ban.
For 2015, the main destination became EU member states, a list topped by Germany for sour cherries, while Belarus took on greater volumes of sweet cherries.
This year, cherry exports are expected to exceed the levels seen last year by 6 per cent, the report said.
Peaches, plums and apricots
Peach production is forecast at 9,600 tonnes, down 3 per cent year-on-year, while plums are expected to hit 86,000 tonnes, down from 94,900 tonnes in 2015, and nectarines should drop slightly to 3,000 tonnes from 3,700 tonnes.
Total exports for peaches and nectarines are expected to rise to 20,000 tonnes from 18,560 tonnes in 2015, with the majority – some 18,000 tonnes – heading to the EU.