Turkey is the first apricot producer country in the world (17% of total production) followed by Iran and Pakistan, which are the second and the third respectively. According to forecasts of Europêch, made in Perpignan of France, in 2015 the European production of apricots is expected to be 509,570 tonnes (presenting a decrease of 3.7% compared to 2014).
Rainfalls during the flowering caused problems to the crop in many areas of the country. All early varieties had decreased production. Apricot variety Bempekou is expected to be harvested from 22 of June. The producer price for processed apricots was at 55 cents per kilo in Corinthos and at 53 cents per kilo in Argolida (the two main areas in south Greece where this specific variety is cultivated).
The prices for apricots for juice ranged from 25 to 26 cents per kilo.
According to Mr. Michael Vardakas, the President of the Agricultural Cooperative of Agios Basilios Corinthos, “this year’s production in Corinthos is reduced by 50% compared to a normal year in the area because of the bad weather during flowering. Moreover, the decrease of production in Argolida region reached 80%. The same is observed in north Greece (Chalkidiki, Thessaly, Kavala etc). Because of this reduction, the producer price for processed apricots should have been ranged between 60-65 cents. Unfortunately, the prices have been lower. Although the final prices seem to be better compared to last year’s, the fewer production causes problems to the producers’ income. However, the reduced production has led to apricots of high quality”.
Production in Spain is expected to be (+ 11.7%) increased compared to 2014, and reach the 100,000 tonnes approximately. The increased production is mainly due to new plantings and not because of high production per yield. The harvest begun earlier in regions located in Murcia, Valencia and Andalusia, than in Aragon and Catalonia. In Aragon, there were problems because of frost and rainfall during fruit setting. Spain concerns about its exports because of low demand of apricot due to climatic conditions in the other European countries.
Italy expects production of 197,451 tonnes, i.e. (-7.3%) decreased compared to last year. The reduction of Italian production is expected to affect all varieties. Harvesting presents a delay for all varieties for about 7-10 days. In recent years the Italian production is declining, and this year is by 12% below the average for the last five years.
France expects a harvest of 166,169 tonnes, i.e. (-4.4%) decreased compared to last year. However this year’s production presents a (2%) increase compared to the average production of the last five years. Increased temperatures in winter and frequent rainfall during flowering, had a negative impact on fruit set of several varieties.