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Berry production continues to increase and prices fall
Spain: Strawberry campaign closes with 15% increase in turnover
The Association of Strawberry Producers and Exporters from Huelva (Freshuelva) has reported that the sector has closed the 2016-2017 season with a strawberry production totalling 302,500 tonnes, slightly higher than last year's (+2%), even though the number of hectares planted fell by 7%. The turnover, for its part, amounted to 454,665,000 Euro, which represents an increase of close to 15% compared to the previous campaign.
With a total production slightly higher than last year, the strawberry campaign has come to a close with a 10% higher average price, according to the statistical data provided by the associated companies.
The sum of the volume harvested between December and January was about 50% lower than in the same period of the previous season, although it should be recalled that the 2015/16 campaign started with exceptionally high volumes. In February, the low temperatures recorded were ideal for the crop, both in terms of quality and volume, facilitating the stability of prices. Meanwhile, the results in March were very similar to those of the previous campaign in terms of both volume and average price.
However, problems arose in April due to excessive heat, which led to a significant increase in production, which in turn led to the abandonment of plantations due to the shortage of labourers to harvest the strawberries.
In May and in June the volumes decreased significantly, while the strawberries from other countries, such as France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany or Belgium, arrived with strength in the European markets. This, coupled with the high temperatures, caused the end of the campaign to arrive.
The two main destinations for Huelva's strawberries are still Germany and France, which account for 30 and 20% of the total exports, respectively, with the United Kingdom in third place, with 13%.
In summary, the 2016-2017 campaign had a very positive first part and a second more problematic one, with an impact on the exported volume and the final prices, which have been remarkably affected, although, in general terms, the campaign has concluded with a positive balance.
Berry production continues to increase and prices are going down
The production of raspberries has amounted to 18,800 tonnes, recording an increase of 18% compared to the previous campaign. The price of this berry, however, fell by an average of 15%, although the turnover has grown by 4.5%, with a total of 125,475,000 Euro. In this case, it should be noted that the area planted has increased by 6% and reached 1,932 hectares.
The development of raspberry exports (practically 95% of the total production) has been very regular during the first months of the season, with virtually no production peaks and adequate demand. However, during the month of May and early June, due to the arrival of local productions from some of the fruit's destination countries and to the remarkable increase in the volumes (because of the high temperatures), there was an accumulation of stocks and a very competitive environment, which entailed a significant price decrease in the second part of the campaign.
The blackberry harvest, in turn, kicked off at the end of February with small volumes, increasing somewhat in March, although the months with the greatest volumes were April, May and early June. In total, production was 10% higher than that of the previous year, with a total of about 1,700 tonnes, although the price fell by 25%.
Lastly, the situation in the blueberry sector has been marked by a marked increase in the acreage this campaign (+30%), which has resulted in the volumes traded growing by practically 60%, concentrating in the months of April and May, coinciding with the hot periods.
All this has allowed the production marketed by 30 June to reach about 33,000 tonnes, although the harvest continues at a much slower pace. For its part, the final average price has recorded a 27% drop.
Publication date: 7/17/2017
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