But Christmas is coming and these holidays give a boost to the demand for fruit and vegetable products. It is a period with high consumption levels and demand for premium quality products, which is reflected in the prices of almost all vegetables.
The data collected by the Prices and Markets Observatory of Andalusia, an institution under the Council of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, confirm this trend and point to a more than noticeable rise in prices, especially in the case of aubergines and courgettes.
Aubergines have followed the trend of recent years, and for some weeks, Almeria has held its position as the largest supplier of the EU markets, with France, Germany and Italy as the main customers. The consequence of this situation is that the price has doubled in this past week, especially for the "long" variety, which has reached 1.25 Euro.
Courgette on the rise
From week 47 to 49, the average price of courgettes has grown by about 83 percent. Prices at origin have almost doubled, reaching and even exceeding 80 cents per kilo.
The cold is once again the main ally for Almeria's producers, who, however, have also been suffering its consequences in the form of lower production volumes.
In both cases, the forecasts for this week and the next, coinciding with the Christmas holidays, point to further increases, as reported by the Prices and Markets Observatory. In any case, neither aubergines nor courgettes have yet managed to exceed the prices obtained in the previous season, considered exceptional by all operators.
Tomato growers are having a very good campaign with practically all varieties. On the vine and ribbed tomatoes are the most appreciated commercial varieties, with prices exceeding 1 Euro in both cases.
The sector reports that the volume available of these varieties is significantly lower than that recorded at this time in the previous season (10-15% less in the case of ribbed tomatoes, 20-25% less in the case of on the vine tomatoes). The most positive aspect is that compared to the 2016/2017 campaign, which was already considered a very good one in terms of prices, ribbed, long life and on the vine tomatoes have all become more expensive.
Pear and smooth tomato prices are very similar to those of last year, but have the advantage that the volumes available in auctions exceed those of the previous campaign, both looking at the total figure up to September and to the figures recorded in recent weeks.
Little production of cucumbers
The only cucumber variety which has recorded higher prices in the month of December has been the Almeria; however, this is a vegetable that is very sensitive to the cold and reacts very quickly to temperature drops. There is consequently little available, although the increase in demand in the markets has allowed a rise in prices.
Italian peppers have been the most demanded and the best paid to producers and marketers, exceeding even the price of the previous campaign. Israel has reduced its production and Almeria has taken advantage of it.