Canned Deciduous Fruit Situation in Selected Countries
|Production of canned peaches in selected countries for 2000/01 is forecast at 1.12 million tons, down 11 percent from the estimated 1.25 million tons produced in 1999/2000. Exports for 2000/01 are forecast at 538,300 tons, down 5 percent from the preceding year. Canned pear production for 2000/01 is forecast at a more normal 159,300 tons, up 34 percent from the extraordinarily low output of the previous year. Exports of canned pears for 2000/01 are forecast at 97,200 tons, up 2 percent from last years level.|
Regional and Country Highlights
The canned deciduous fruit sector is suffering a market crisis throughout the world due to an overall decline in canned fruit consumption, low prices, and increased competition among the principal exporters: Greece, South Africa and Australia.
In Europe, Greece and Spain have increased their canned fruit production in the last few years due to what is perceived as a better ability to adapt to the changes in the European Union (EU) support program and to use the subsidies to their advantage in comparison to other EU producers. As a result, EU production in 1999/2000 reached levels similar to the record in 1992/93 (771,000 tons of canned peaches and pears in 1999/2000 compared to 612,000 tons in 1998/99).
The weather conditions through June 2000 were about normal, but fruit size was relatively small because of a heavy set. This, combined with very high July temperatures, resulted in early varieties ripening a week earlier than expected. Consequently, fruit size was small and fruit was either left on the tree or taken to the withdrawal pools. Later varieties had generally good quality fruit. Due to large beginning stocks (120,000 tons versus 5,506 tons last year), canned output is forecast at 320,000 tons compared to the record 441,000 tons produced last year.
Processors paid about 76 drachmas/kilogram (kg) ($0.28/kg) compared to about 65 drachmas ($0.22/kg) last season. Ex factory prices for canned peaches dropped considerably as the season progressed. Prices for a Good Standard 24/1 kg case ranged from U.S.$ 12.50 - $13.50 at mid August and by early October were quoted at $7.20 - $8.00.
According to EU regulations, the maximum allowable withdrawal quantity of peaches within the EU countries was not to exceed 40 percent of the total marketed tonnage in 1999/2000 and this was further reduced to 30 percent for the 2000/01 season (approximately 193,000 tons).
Italys canned deciduous fruit output for 2000/01 is forecast at more-normal levels of 30,000 tons for canned peaches and 60,000 tons for canned pears. This compares with 41,000 tons of canned peaches and 24,000 tons of canned pears during the previous year. In 1999/2000, exports of canned peaches dropped to 37,000 tons due to the Italian producers difficulty in competing in the market. Exports are expected to remain at that level for 2000/01, because Italian processors of canned peaches are finding it difficult to remain profitable against strong imports from Greece and low domestic retail prices.
Favorable weather conditions enabled Spain to exceed last years canned peach output, by 1,000 tons reaching a forecast 2000/01 level of 183,000 tons. Canning pear production was reduced because of unfavorable weather conditions due to spring frost, an irregular blossoming, and hail storms during the blooming period. Spanish canned pear output is forecast to decrease by 500 tons to total 35,800 tons. Spains canned peach exports are forecast to increase in 2000/01 by 2,000 tons to reach 72,000 tons, while pear exports are expected to decline by 3,000 tons to 26,000 tons.
Argentinas canned peach output for 2000/01 is forecast at 75,000 tons. Canned peach exports in 2001 are predicted at 8,000 tons, up 1,000 tons from the previous year. Brazil is expected to be the main market.
Chiles canned peach production for marketing year 2000/01 is forecast to decline by 14 percent (6,000 tons) from the previous year due to poor weather in the current blooming period. Exports of canned peaches are forecast to be sharply lower, reflecting the fall in production, weaker international demand, and renewed competition from Greece. Farm prices for canning peaches for 1999/2000 are down 20 percent from the previous year.
South Africa (SA)
The long awaited EU/SA free trade accord provisionally came into force on January 1, 2000. Under the agreement, EU imports of South African canned fruit are subject to tariff quotas; 40,000 tons for canned apricots, peaches and pears combined, and 18,000 tons for canned mixtures are allowed annually at a tariff equal to one half of the prevailing rate, which is generally about 20 percent. While the quota is fairly significant, it does not lead to the duty-free situation that other South African products will eventually enjoy. The agreement should have a beneficial effect on export returns, which are under stress due to a world oversupply situation. Domestically, production costs and inflation are also becoming a major problem in an industry suffering from static prices.
Europe is the most important market for South African canned fruit. Between 60 and 66 percent of the exports traditionally go to Europe; this has become very important with the quota allocated under the EU/SA agreement. Initial indications are that the quota will cover between 70 and 80 percent of exports to Europe, but only 40 percent of total exports to all markets. The EU duty benefit of about 10 percent will therefore equate to about 4 percent on the total pack. Thus while helpful, the EU/SA agreement is not expected to provide any stimulus for increased production. Canned peach output for 2000/01 is forecast 823 tons lower than last year and canned pear output is up only 2000 tons from last years record low of 20,494 tons.
Beginning with this report, Production, Supply and Distribution (PS&D) tables for canned mixed fruit and canned apricots will be discontinued. In addition, several countries (France and Japan) have been eliminated from the PS&D tables from canned peaches and canned pears. This decision was necessitated due to declining Foreign Agricultural Service budget resources and the need to more strategically target remaining resources in support of the Agencys primary mission to facilitate the expansion of export opportunities for U.S. produced agricultural commodities.
The FAS Attache Report search engine contains reports on Canned Deciduous Fruit. For information on production and trade, contact Robert Knapp at 202-720-4620. For information on marketing contact Kristin Kezar at 202-609-0556.)