Italy is the foremost European producer of peaches and nectarines, with approximately 1,480,000 tonnes produced in 2011, of which 700,000 were of peaches and 780,000 were of nectarines. Spain (830,000 tons), France (305,000) and Greece (290,000 tons) follow. The offer comes from the specialised areas of northern, central and southern Italy; in particular, peaches are predominant in the south, while nectarines are more important in Emilia Romagna, Europe’s most important productive area, with 127,000 tonnes of peaches and 306,000 tonnes of nectarines produced in 2011. Italian exports amounted to around 370,000 tonnes, 25% of the total production of 1,480,000 tonnes. More than 40% of the Italian stone fruits exported still goes to Germany.
In the global context, the overall offer of peaches and nectarines has tended to increase: from the end of the Seventies until today, it has grown by over 50%. Twelve million tonnes of peaches and nectarines were produced in 2000. There are three large areas of production in the world, which account for about 80% of the total offer. The most important area is constituted by the territory along the shore of the Mediterranean (slightly less than 40%), while the second ranking area includes Far Eastern countries (about 33%), especially China and Japan. The third area is the Usa (about 12%).
European production of peaches and nectarines has been stable in recent years, at around 2,900,000 tonnes. From the last five years, the production of nectarines has increased and peaches have decreased. In Italy the stone fruit production was stable, Greece saw a small increase and Spain noticed a big increase. Contrary to this rising trend, the production in France fell consistently due to limited domestic sales. In 2011 the total European production was 2.9 million tons.