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Justo Redondo, of Nogal Fruits:
"Spain: "There will be a shortage of plums this year"
The start of the plum campaign in Extremadura, the main producer of this stone fruit in Spain, has been delayed by about fifteen days (as has been the case with other fruits), and there will also be a significant drop in the production volume, which could amount to around 40%.
"There will be a shortage of plums this year," says Justo Redondo, manager of Nogal Fruits. "Frosts hit the earliest plum varieties when they were in bloom, and later, when the other varieties were in bloom, excess rainfall and hail prevented their setting. There will be a drop in yields even in varieties that never tend to fail, like the Fortuna."
Chile had already stopped shipping plums two weeks ago, and South Africa has also finished its campaign, so there is a gap in the markets. "There will be at least three weeks with a lower availability of plums, as the first ones from Spain, the main supplier in Europe, are arriving with a significant delay, as well as in lower amounts. Prices are thus expected to be very high," says Justo Redondo.
Given the limited supply of plums available, producers and exporters are expected to prefer shipping more to Europe, leaving out distant destinations, such as the newly opened Chinese market. "With a situation like this, we prefer to focus on Europe this year and not ship to destinations with strict protocols and transit times of between 23 and 28 days."
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