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"Spain is greatly expanding its pomegranate acreage"
Spain: Pomegranate campaign kicks off with lower yields and larger calibres
The pomegranate campaign has already started in Elche, the main pomegranate producing area in Spain, where the first early pomegranates of the Acco variety hit the market last week. Next week will see the arrival of the first pomegranates of the Valenciana variety, and the Mollar will be harvested in early October.
"We expect a campaign with volumes similar to last year, since although the yields are about 10% lower, there are new plantations that have become productive," explains Susi Bonet, of the commercial department of Cambayas. Since there will be less fruit in the trees, the calibres are expected to be medium and large.
Valenciana pomegranates, almost ready for the harvest.
The heat waves this summer, accompanied by prolonged drought, have not been good allies for the pomegranates in Elche, where there have been many cases of skin burns in the case of the Mollar variety. "There will be lots of second class fruit and fruit that won't even be harvested, as the processing industry is not offering profitable prices to the growers," she points out.
According to the exporter, sales at the start of the campaign have so far been slow, although "this is normal at this time, since many people are still on holiday." It happens also to the rest of fruits available in the market. The good thing is that we don't have many kilos of Acco. We will have significant volumes after the harvest of Valenciana pomegranates, and at the same time, Israel will also introduce more kilos, although the demand fortunately also tends to rise. We don't expect a very high demand due to the global abundance of product, but it won't be as low as right now."
The fact is that the production of pomegranates is on the rise all over Spain, namely in areas where there was traditionally no significant acreage, such as Murcia, Extremadura or Andalusia. "The pomegranate supply is growing and it is becoming more difficult to obtain high margins, but fortunately, consumption is also increasing little by little, especially that of pomegranates intended for fresh consumption. Fresh cut pomegranates are growing at a much slower pace."
Acco pomegranate under the Cambayas brand.
Acco is an early variety on which growers are betting to expand their pomegranate acreage. "It is a new variety in this area, where the Mollar and Valenciana are more common. Acco has a red colour, more intense than that of the Mollar or Valenciana, both on the outside and inside, and although it does not have the same sweet flavour as these, it is much less sour than other deep red varieties available on the market," explains Susi Bonet.
Cambayas' Acco pomegranates are intended for markets such as the United Kingdom and Germany. "In Spain, consumers still prefer the Mollar and Valenciana," she affirms. For the rest of pomegranates, the absence of the Russian market is still noticeable, although fortunately consumption has increased in Spain and the Middle East and other markets like Brazil, which reopened to Spanish exports two campaigns ago and are beginning to become important."
Cambayas will attend the next edition of the Fruit Attraction fair in Madrid. They will be happy to assist you at stand 7 C06 D.
Publication date: 8/30/2017
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