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Spain: Plums achieve good demand and reasonable prices

Last year, Extremadura suffered production losses of up to 60 % due to heavy hailstorms and other weather adversities. "It was a year in which growers only obtained good prices as a result of the low volumes of fruit in the warehouses," recalls Manuel Alonso, of Naturcrex. 

"This year, the weather has been very favourable and has allowed us to start seven to ten days earlier, with a satisfactory quality for all types of stonefruit and production volumes at slightly higher levels than those of a normal campaign," he points out.

Manuel affirms that the campaign is going well so far in terms of sales, and that for now "prices are reasonably good, although lower than last season due to the greater production volumes." 

Based in Valdivia, in the Spanish region of Extremadura, and with headquarters in Calasparra, Seville and Huelva, Naturcrex produces all kinds of stonefruit from April to late September, with plums being its speciality. Plums actually represent more than 55 % of all stonefruit crops in Extremadura. 

"The first Early Queen plums are harvested in late May. Later, we continue mainly with the CrisonGlo, Fortune and Freedom, closing the season in September with the Plum Late variety, which we store until February if the product meets the right conditions," he explains.

Under the brands CREX, Pangú and Luxus, Naturcrex markets its products primarily through supermarket chains in both the domestic market and the export market, reaching all of Europe as well as faraway destinations like Brazil, Canada, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

"We have been working with Brazil for about fifteen years, since the time European markets started to become saturated. We have the advantage of our relative proximity to the port of Algeciras. To be able to export to such distant destinations it is necessary to make a special selection of varieties, to subject the fruit to specific cold treatments and to conduct a monitoring of the logistics process to ensure the fruit's properties remain intact during the twenty days that the shipment may take to arrive. Losses can be huge if your product's rejected in Brazil."

At the moment, competition is growing with the entry into production of other Spanish regions, such as Aragon and Lleida, as well as other producing countries. "We have been facing more competition, especially in the smaller calibre peach market. In the plum market, however, there isn't any noticeable competition, and if the campaign continues like this, it should be a good one."

For more informaion:
Manuel Alonso Escobar
Calle Afueras S/N
Valdivia, Badajoz. Spain
T:+34 924832086
M:+34 616920360

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