The tomato and cucumber export season is starting this week in the Canary Islands with good prospects for the company SAT Juliano BONNY Gómez, the largest Canary exporter of horticultural products. The campaign will run until late April or early May, depending on the start of local production in the export destinations, which are spread all over Europe.
"The summer has been hot, but stable, with no sudden changes in temperature during the day, which is what can cause plants to stress. For its part, the autumn so far has been idyllic in terms of weather conditions and we hope to start our export season with high quality standards, both for tomatoes and cucumbers," said Jota Cabrera Bonny, export manager of SAT Juliano BONNY Gómez.
Regarding the cucumber harvest, it is now starting within a framework of normal market prices for this time of the year, after the high prices registered on weeks 40, 41 and 42, when up to 14 € per box were paid in the Netherlands as a result of a severe lack of production throughout Europe.
"At this time, the production season of the Netherlands, Germany, Finland and the UK, among others, are coming to a close, while Almeria is starting to increase its export volumes. We will now enter the market competing with local produce, which these countries tend to give preference to, and where the last batches will be sold at any price," he explains.
Regarding tomatoes, prices are relatively low due to this transition between Spanish and European produce. "In the Netherlands, for example, the last tomatoes are currently being ripened with ethanol and they extend the season as much as possible, even if having to sell at low prices."
As for the possible effects of the Russian veto, Jota Cabrera points out that the situation is still of absolute uncertainty for these products now that the harvest is starting. "What we do know is that prices this summer have been higher for both tomatoes and cucumbers, contrary to what people may say."
"We will still have competition from Morocco and Turkey in the tomato market, even if they have greater opportunities in Russia. Egypt should also be taken into account, as after the Arab Spring conflicts of the last couple of years the country has been increasing its tomato export volumes," he adds.
Transportation costs are the main obstacle for Canary exporters, considering that they are dealing with perishable products, especially in the case of cucumbers. "If we compare our situation with that of peninsular Spanish exporters, we have a clear disadvantage, because if we wanted to use road transport it would take three days for the first boat to reach the port of Algeciras," said Jota Cabrera.
SAT Bonny makes two sea shipments per week, on Mondays and Thursdays, to the port of Rotterdam, from where further shipments are made to Scandinavia and Southampton. It takes 5 days for the shipment to arrive.
"Maritime shipping is our only option and it is very expensive. In recent years, rates have remained stable, but with a slight upward trend. With regard to fuel prices, they have now dropped, although they can vary a lot throughout the campaign."
For more information:
Jota Cabrera Bonny
Exports ManagerSAT JULIANO BONNY GÓMEZ