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Spain: Toledo's fig production drops due to heat
The oil and fruit cooperative of Cebolla, a town in the province of Toledo close to Talavera de la Reina, is now fully involved in the fig harvest, with more than 20 tonnes of the fruit harvested every day.
As explained to Efe by the manager of the cooperative, Diego Fernández, they have reached 25,000 kilos some days, although he also confirmed that these figures are lower than those recorded in previous years because of the high temperatures.
In this sense, Fernández has pointed out that figs are a "peculiar" fruit because "it does not withstand high temperatures," due to the fact that the heat brings the ripening to a halt.
For this reason, they have had to start harvesting much earlier than in previous years, already in early August; not only in Cebolla, but also in the nearby municipalities of Lucillos, Montearagón or Los Cerralbos.
Half of last year's production
The manager of the cooperative has stated that by the time the campaign ends (in early September) they expect to have harvested between fifty and sixty percent less than in 2016.
However, he assures that figs are in great demand, and that the fruit produced by the Cebolla-based cooperative will again be distributed in Madrid for the elaboration of jams, preserves or frozen products.
He also noted that dried figs, those that are harvested when the fruit is already on the ground, are mostly traded among canning companies based in the Caceres region of La Vera.
Regarding international markets, especially European countries such as France, Switzerland or Italy, Diego Fernández stated that the volume shipped this year will be lower due to the drop in the overall production.
Prices are not rising
The drop in production will coincide with a stabilisation of the demand, but not with a rise in the price of figs because, as has been pointed out, stonefruit, melons and watermelons are cheaper in the main domestic markets.
According to data from the public company Mercasa, a kilo of figs cost between 2.50 and 2.15 Euro in Mercamadrid last week, while watermelons did not exceed 0.22 Euro, peaches stood at 1.30 Euro and melons cost 0.35 Euro per kilo.
Publication date: 8/15/2017
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