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Launch of stonefruit campaign with apricots, peaches and nectarines

"Extremadura's plum production to fall by 20 to 30%"

Extremadura's stonefruit season has started with the first apricots about fifteen days earlier compared to the previous campaign, and in some early areas, also with peaches and nectarines. "It is worth noting, however, that the harvest kicked off late last year, so this year we are starting about 5 days in advance compared to what would be a normal campaign," explains José Aurelio García, manager of Explum.

A mild spring with sunny days and cool nights has been the factor that has facilitated this advance, as well as an increase in plum calibres. At the same time, given the lower number of flowers, the costs of thinning have also been lower.

"We are selling the first apricots, although Extremadura's apricot production is almost non-existent if we compare it with plums, which is the region's stonefruit par excellence. On Friday, we started harvesting the first peaches and on Monday the first nectarines, although the volumes won't be important until two weeks from now. The plums will arrive later," explains José Aurelio.

According to the producer and exporter, while the peach and nectarine productions are expected to be more or less normal compared to last season, "there will be a significant drop in the case of plums, which could range from 20 to 30%, due to the excess rainfall during the flowering stage."

As for the prices, José Aurelio believes that they will depend on how Murcia and Seville finish their campaigns. "The price levels with which we start in Extremadura are always determined by other earlier production areas. Prices always tend to fall as we move into June and Catalonia hits the market. At the moment, prices are not very encouraging, because there hasn't been enough heat in the European export destinations."

75% of the stonefruit produced in Extremadura goes to international markets, to more than 40 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East or Latin America. Plums, cherries, nectarines and peaches account for most of the fruit production in the region, with revenues totalling 150 million Euro each campaign.

Since last year, with the signing of the necessary protocol, the Chinese market offers opportunities for Extremaduran stonefruit and the Spanish production as a whole. Plum shipments to China, mostly from Extremadura, totalled 779 tonnes, with a turnover of 1.2 million Euro.

Explum made its first shipments of stonefruit to China late last season. "The first exports to China last season were experimental, although we have already realised that this is a very demanding country which also pays very well for quality fruit. I think the experience has been positive, but the results have not been as we expected yet. We have to find transit routes with less traffic and be able to become more competitive against California."

For more information:
José Aurelio García
Explum SC
T: +34 924446338
M: +34 615289854

Publication date: 5/18/2017


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