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Nectarine, Prunus persica var. nectarina / Rosaceae
The origin of the nectarine is unknown, although its history takes us 2,000 years back and arises at the same time as the peach does. From the genetic point of view, the culture of the nectarine is a very interesting phenomenon in horticulture.

The countries that produce nectarines are located all along the Mediterranean basin, South Africa, the United States, and Australia. Lately, all the European Union countries have increased their productions. The world-wide production of peaches and nectarines is thought to be around 12,000,000 tons.

COUNTRYPRODUCTION (thousand tons) %
 19981999 
Africa8048327
Asia4,6014,61038
Europe3,5464,18335
North America1,4551,48412
Oceania1041071
South America7748257
TOTAL11,28412,041100

Source: Fresh Produce Desk Book(2001).

The 10 countries with greater production of peaches and nectarines, along with their production development in the last years, is shown in the following table:

COUNTRYPRODUCTION (thousand tons)   
 1989-91199619971998
China1,2322,7762,9962,996
Italia1,5911,7541,1581,429
The United States1,3031,1791,4301,300
Spain708870925988
Greece760876588480
Francia475464469470
Turkey339360355400
Chile191280270285
Argentina237281290280
South Africa145173251240

Source: FAO Production Yearbook 1998.

The state with greater production of comercial varieties in the United States is California, amounting more than 98% of the American production.

The countries with greater production in the European Union are Spain and Italy. In Spain, the main regions are Sevilla and Huelva.

Concerning exports, the main exporters of peaches and nectarines are the countries in the Mediterranean basin.

COUNTRYEXPORTS 
 tons1998thousand U.S.$1998
Italy330,245349,930
Spain198,196260,113
The United States83,65980,593
France70,403112,053
Chile68,30748,083

Greece
47,07936,191
The Netherlands12,63016,784
Germany7,84010,003
South Africa5,9006,747
Argentina4,2574,211

Source: FAO Trade Yearbook, 1998

The peaches and nectarines imports are shown in the following table:

IMPORTS VALUE1000$year1999 
Germany228,831
United Kingdom115,837
France75,571
The United States64,098
Italy51,816
Canada45,354
The Netherlands34,653
Belgium-Luxembourg34,467
Switzerland30,723
Poland26,876

(Peaches and nectarines imports)
Source: FAO Trade Yearbook, ( http://www.fao.org )

IMPORTS AMOUNT (tons) year 1999 
Germany331,280
United Kingdom107,721
France65,591
Poland62,968
Canada54,470
TheUnitedStates48,361
Italy45,720
The Netherlands41,847
Poland37,089
Switzerland32,976

(Peaches and nectarines imports)
Source: FAO Trade Yearbook,( http://www.fao.org )
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