Bulgarian Cherry Production for 2018 Expected to Reach Record High
Bulgarian cherry production in marketing year (MY) 2018 is expected to reach a record high due to expanded area, favorable weather, and improved average yields. The growth in cherry stocks will foment more processing and fresh consumption. Peach production and stocks are lower due to weather-related yield losses in major production regions. Fresh peach consumption is forecast to be stable. Lower local stocks will be augmented by higher imports to meet Bulgaria’s growing demand for fresh produce, reports Fresh Plaza.
The abundant peach crop in MY 2017/18 raised stock levels for processing, leading to a 38-percent processing increase over MY 2016/17, a record-high. Locally-sourced peaches comprised 33 percent of raw material, versus 67 percent from imports for production. Ending stocks of processed product (December 2017) were reported higher which is likely to limit the volume of peaches for processing in MY 2018/19.
Traditionally, cherries are Bulgaria’s most popular fruit for processing. In MY 2017/18, sweet cherries accounted for 30 percent of all processed fruits, followed by apples at 19 percent, peaches at 18 percent, and tart cherries at three percent. Due to abundant supplies, cherry processing (by volume) increased by eight percent over MY 2016/17. 77 percent of locally sourced cherries went for processing. Most imported cherries were bound for fresh consumption. About 67 percent of the processed products like cherry pulp, dried cherries, and jams were exported within the EU.
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