Almeria's pepper season kicked off with larger production volumes compared to previous years, over a period of time when central and northern European countries had yet to finish their campaigns. Unlike last year, when the campaign started with heavy rains that reduced the production, this year's unusual autumn heat resulted in a higher productivity.
For this reason, prices were very low until mid-November, and not until then, coinciding with the arrival of colder temperatures, did they start to recover.
Orange bell peppers are currently the most in demand, with prices reaching 0.90 Euro/kilo. This is more than double the price registered last week, when it stood at around 0.40 Euro/kilo. Meanwhile, Green, Yellow and Red bell peppers prices reached 0.70 Euro/kilo.
As for other pepper varieties, the Italian green has increased in price and now reaches initial prices of around 0.60 Euro/kilo. Lamuyo peppers, for their part, remain at around 0.70 Euro/kilo.
"These prices are already reasonably good for growers," affirms Juan Antonio Planelles, manager of Agroiris, a company based in El Ejido which annually produces and markets up to 75 million kilos of peppers of more than 12 different varieties.
Mini Tribelli peppers
"We ship our peppers mostly to European markets, and to a lower extent to the United States and Canada, mainly due to transport costs and competition from Israel, which has more aggressive pricing policies," he explains. "Israel is, without a doubt, the main competitor for Almeria's peppers. This is why whenever their exports focus on Europe, we try redirecting our shipments to the United States, and vice versa."