Dried Fruit

Prunes: optimistic growers in California

April 16, 2024 at 4:11 PM , Der AUDITOR
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SACRAMENTO/SANTIAGO. Prospects are highly encouraging for prunes in California. Weather conditons are ideal for the crucial bloom phase and the quality of the crop should be good.

Encouraging prospects

As the California Prune Board reports conditions are ideal for the trees this spring. Growers are looking forward to a promising season with a high-quality crop. The bloom phase is crucial and a close eye is kept on the weather and on the bees that pollinate the trees. These observations, however, run contrary to the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) estimates that predict a 4% decline in US production in 2024/2025 as based on the average of the last five years. Although the 2023 harvest started three weeks late as the California Prune Board reported perfect growing conditions prompted the crop to turn out good in the current season.

Projections for Chile, the leading producing country, indicate that production will remain unchanged at 68,000 mt in 2024/2025. As Chile Prunes highlighted flowering was uneven in September 2023, but frequent rains and moderate temperatures in late spring led to a good fruit set and normal crop development. Chile's dried fruits became available in mid-February. Production is also expected to flatline in France in 2024/2025, whereas Argentina will sport a 65% surge in production. Global production should rise by 4% as current projections show.

Global prune production (mt)

Country

2023/24

2024/25

Diff.

Chile

68,000

68,000

0.0%

USA

68,000

65,000

-4.4%

France

40,000

40,000

0.0%

Argentina

20,000

33,000

65.0%

Serbia

5,000

4,800

-4.0%

Australia

2,500

1,500

-40.0%

Italy

1,450

1,500

3.4%

South Africa

604

750

24.2%

Total

205,554

214,550

4.4%

California Prune Board, Chile Prunes Association and other INC sources
INC March 2024

EU imports down

EU imports declined by 14% between September 2023 and the start of April 2024 as compared with the same period in 2022/2023. Chile accounts for more than 50% of EU imports, followed by Moldova. While shipments from these two producing countries have seen a nominal uprise, the shipments Argentina, the USA and Serbia have declined sharply. 

EU prune imports (mt)

Country

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

Chile

15,924

16,690

4.8%

Moldova

2,958

3,009

1.7%

USA

4,563

2,804

-38.5%

Argentina

3,196

2,684

-16.0%

Serbia

3,845

1,680

-56.3%

Others

3,574

2,309

-35.4%

Total

34,060

29,176

-14.3%

DG AGRI TAXUD Customs Surveillance, 28/08-02/04

HS Code 08132000 Dried, prunes

 

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