Each stone fruit campaign is different, although the final results are always difficult to predict, given that the weather plays a very important role until the very last moment. There is still a shortage of nectarines, although as soon as Lleida and Aragon (Spain's largest producers) hit the market, prices are expected to fall.
Daniel Vidal, in a nectarine field.
"This year, the mild temperatures, abundant rains and hail storms have caused significant delays and there have been production shortages at many times of the campaign, which has resulted in considerably higher prices compared to last year," explains Daniel Vidal, of Exquisite Fruits.
While the high prices are generally a good thing, they also make it more difficult to compete in the Eastern European markets, where Greece is taking advantage of this situation, according to the exporter.
"Eastern European countries are more price-sensitive than other European markets and that is why in campaigns like this one, with scarcity pushing Spanish fruit prices up, those markets prefer to buy Greek fruit. The latter has not been adversely affected in terms of volume, and it also tends to be cheaper. The Greek fruit production is growing every year and the country will become an increasingly strong competitor."
Stone fruit accounts for 35% of the annual fruit volume marketed by Exquisite Fruits. The Valencian company works with all kinds of stone fruit, such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, paraguayo peaches, platerines and plums. The largest volumes correspond to Paraguayo peaches and apricots.
"We start harvesting in Murcia and Valencia and later we continue and finish in Lleida until the end of August. We only work with French apricot varieties, which are the most popular ones in the markets where we sell our fruit. As for paraguayo peaches, we have all kinds of varieties since early May. This fruit's popularity has grown a lot and there is a great demand in the countries of Eastern Europe," says Daniel Vidal.
The European and Eastern European markets account for 90% of the company's stone fruit sales. Besides, the firm also makes maritime and air shipments to distant countries, such as the Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Hong Kong and some French Caribbean islands. "We have gained a strong position in the Eastern European markets, such as Belarus and Ukraine," says the exporter.
The company markets the stone fruit, as well as kakis and pomegranates, under the brand Style. "We are already preparing and organising the sales for the pomegranate campaign, which will kick off in late August with the red varieties Acco, Smith and Emec. We will then continue in October with the Wonderful and finish the campaign in December. We expect to produce 2 million kilos of pomegranates this year. In September, we will also start the kaki campaign," concludes Daniel Vidal.
For more information:
Daniel VidalExquisite Fruits,S.L.
Plaza del Prado, 21
46701 GANDÍA (Valencia), Spain
T: +34 960 653 909
M: +34 675 549 164 email@example.com