While this year’s production is in line with the five-year average, an overall decrease in production volume leaves room for future growth

Apricot production in Europe will be shorter this year, according to a new forecast issued during Europêch, an annual industry meeting that took place at trade event Medfel in Perpignan, France.

As reported by Italian group CSO, overall production for Europe’s major producer countries is projected to remain at around 503,000 tonnes – 7 per cent down compared with the 2022 figure.

However, the predicted volume remains in line with average production from 2017 to 2021, and more or less in between a two-year period of low production in 2020-21 and years where supply was high, from 2017 to 2019.

In Italy, a decline in planted area and cold weather has affected output. Production in the country is estimated at around 203,000 tonnes, 26 per cent lower compared with last season.

However, that represents an increase of 16 per cent compared to what was produced in 2020 and 2021. As CSO puts it, “a normal offer, but below full potential”.

In Greece, growers expect a similar volume to last year at approximately 76,000 tonnes, which is still around 30 per cent below its normal potential. The shortfall is mainly in earlier ripening varieties.

In France, the forecast is for around 126,000 tonnes, just 2 per cent up on the volume seen in 2022.

No frosts were reported in French production areas, but persistent temperature changes from the flowering phase up to the last few weeks have reportedly prevented the country producing as much as it can. Meanwhile, planted area continues to decrease.

The forecast for Spain, meanwhile, is around 99,000 tonnes – a significant return to normal after last season’s low crop.