Italy: Quality not all the same for pomegranates

"The pomegranate market in the Mediterranean area is currently affected by an abundant offer leading to lower prices. Luckily, prices have dropped slightly less for the Italian produce (Sicilian in particular) compared to that form other origins," reports the sales manager from Pomèl, the Sicilian company located in Marsala (TP) specialising in the cultivation and sale of top-quality pomegranates. Thanks to over 40 growers and 120 hectares (40 of which are producing), Pomèl has an estimated 400 tons for 2017. 

"What is more, high-quality productions are managing prices in line with last year and even slightly higher."

Expectations for this season
"We expect an increase in competition which will affect prices of the fruit in the medium-low range. Top quality productions should be able to maintain their position on the market."

Supply and demand
Interest in this fruit seems to be increasing. "This is true for both the fresh and the processed products. But the real question is not whether demand is increasing, but whether the supply is growing quicker than demand, which would lead to well-known consequences."

Main markets for Italian pomegranates
Italy remains an excellent market, receptive to high-quality productions and to the fruit's nutritional properties. "Despite being a rather interesting market, northern Europe is characterised by a steeper competition (Israel, Turkey and Spain in particular), so we should focus on organic productions to make them stand out." 

Most of the Italian produce is sold fresh, although there are fresh-cut products available (arils, juices, jams, etc.).

Foreign productions are instead mostly destined to the processing industry, mainly due to the cheaper prices reflecting the lower quality.

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