China’s peach/nectarine production is estimated at 14.5 million metric tons (MMT) in marketing year (MY) 2020/21 (January-December), down 3 percent from the previous year.
A heavy snow in April affected most peach-growing provinces, including Shandong, Hebei, and Jiangsu. The dramatic drop in temperature negatively impacted fruit setting for peaches and nectarines. In addition, some provinces, such as Shandong, also experienced hailstorms in spring, damaging some peach blossoms. Despite these challenges, fruit quality is expected to be fine, according to Shandong peach farmers.
Generally, industry has described domestic peaches and nectarines as less flavorful over the past few years due to the increased application of fertilizer and pesticide. The COVID-19 outbreak impact on peach production seems to be limited.
Peach/nectarine acreage is estimated at 855,000 hectares in MY 2020/21, down slightly from the previous year. Peach and nectarine planted areas are expected to slowly decrease due to weakening market returns. Some peach farmers have begun switching to new varieties, such as the yellow-flesh peaches/nectarines currently favored by consumers. Currently, more than 200 locally bred varieties replanted in orchards across China and around 70 percent of the peach varieties are white-fleshed.
Local peach season runs from April through October (including greenhouse-cultivated peaches and nectarines), but more than 70 percent of peaches and nectarines come to market between June and August.