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Plum, Prunus domestica / Rosaceae
The European plum originated from the Caucasus, and the Japanese plum from China. Seven million tons are produced in the world, and the main producing country is China. Spain produces around 150,000t.

The common European plum probably originated from the region around the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, later spreading towards Europe and Asia. The Japanese plum tree is original from China, although it spread from its culture in Japan. According to the first writings in which the plum is mentioned, the species has an antiquity of at least 2,000 years. The main producing country is China, with great difference, followed by the U.S.A., Rumania, former Yugoslavia, Germany and all the countries with tempered and subtropical climate.

The world production is:

Continent
Thousand tons%
Africa1913
Asia3,61849
Europe2,4564
North America74510
Oceania29-
South America3044
Total7,343100


Source: Fresh Produce Desk Book (1999)

The main producing countries in each continent are:

Country
Thousand tons
China2,717
USA850
Yugoslavia480
Germany416
France210F(*)
Spain150
Chile150
Morocco41
Portugal18F
England16F


Source: FAO Production Yearbook (1998)
(*) F: FAO’s estimated value.

The world produces around 7,000,000 tons of plums and Spain is one of the main producers in the European Union. The following table shows the surface and production in different Spanish areas:

Area
HectaresTons
Región de Murcia3,79849,891
Comunidad Valenciana8,17836,241
Andalucía2,02320,057
Aragón1,5527,783
Cataluña8267,327
Castilla-La Mancha1,6226,800
Extremadura7724,732
La Rioja8053,907
Total19,576136,738


Source: La Horticultura Española (2001)

In Spain, the imports of plum are not very relevant; they come from South Africa and Chile. In the last years, exports have increased, oscillating between 45 and 70 million kilos, approximately accounting for 30% of the domestic production. The main destination countries are the United Kingdom and Germany, followed by Italy, France and the Netherlands. Other import countries of Spanish plum are Belgium, Portugal and Brazil.

The European Union exports around 100,000tm and the main exporting countries are Spain (43%), Italy (25%), France (16%) and the Netherlands (9%). The amount imported by the European Union is 135,000tm and the main countries: Germany (33%), the United Kingdom (22%), the Netherlands (14%), France (10%), Belgium (10%) and Italy (5%). (Ctif. Le Mémeto des Fruits et Légumes)
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