Global production of fruit and vegetables steadily increasing

5 Feb 2013

Onions

According to the latest figures from the AMI (agricultural market information service) in Bonn, look 860 million tonnes of vegetables (excluding melons) and 730 million tonnes of fruit (including melons) were produced worldwide in 2012. Production figures for both fruit and vegetables have steadily increased over the past few years.

The EU is the world?s leading import region for fresh fruit. Preliminary figures for 2012 show imports from third countries as comparable to those from the previous year. The amount of imported pomaceous fruit and bananas, case however, showed a decline. The amount of fresh vegetables imported into the EU is less notable, as there is very intense trade of vegetables between the individual EU countries. The US and Russia are also key countries when it comes to the export of fresh fruit and vegetables outside of Europe.

Compared to the previous year, the EU fruit crop decreased by more than 8% in 2012 (that is, 2012/13) to around 34 million tonnes. Lower yields were registered for stone fruit and pomaceous fruit in particular; kiwi and soft fruit crops also saw somewhat lower yields. Even citrus fruit crops were harvested in somewhat lesser quantities. With approximately 61 million tonnes, the EU vegetable harvest in 2012 is likewise expected to show a decrease of around 3% compared to the previous year.

According to preliminary figures for 2012, the volume of commercially cultivated fruit in Germany decreased by 7% over the previous year to 1.2 million tonnes, making it one of the smaller harvests of the last decade. Late frosts and unfavourable weather for blossoming made the strongest impact on stone fruit and soft fruit. Apple crops also saw considerable damages in certain regions, but the overall impact was not very severe. The smaller apple harvest was also reflected in the somewhat lower stocks (-4%) registered on 1 December. With 3.54 million tonnes (-2%), the commercial production of vegetables did not quite match the favourable results of the previous year, although it well surpassed the low figures of the 2010 harvest.

The German import of fresh vegetables already decreased slightly in 2011; the final figures for 2012 are expected to fall below the 3.1 million tonne mark. Spain?s limited ability to supply goods in the spring and autumn of 2012 is especially evident here. The previous year?s slightly lower amount of fresh fruit imports remained comparably steady in 2012 with 4.9 million tonnes.

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