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Spain: Cucumber prices plunge and asparagus, carrots and garlic go up

The vegetable market has been marked by instability in recent weeks, with the low price of cucumbers and the protests of its producers in Granada in the spotlight. Meanwhile, for other vegetables, such as asparagus, carrots or garlic, the export volumes have been skyrocketing.

In the case of cucumbers, the Interprofessional has held a meeting in order to assess the situation, which has been characterized by low prices in recent weeks. The development of the export campaign in Almería and Granada has been similar to that of previous years, with the exception of the collapse of prices since the first week of December, when the prices paid in the market were lower than the production costs, falling as low as 0.17 Euro. This has caused producers to suffer severe losses, as they have been unable to obtain a high enough price to offset their production costs for more than a month.

The development of the current cucumber export campaign in Almeria and Granada had been relatively normal from its beginning up until week 45, when prices fell from 0.95 Euro to figures close to the production costs and even below after week 49. Now, prices have dropped below 0.20 Euro. This situation has caused producers in Granada to organize protests.

At the meeting of the Interprofessional organization, it was found that this situation is due to two main factors: on the one hand, the 30% increase in the production due to the high temperatures recorded, and on the other hand, to the logistics problems encountered when shipping to the European markets due to the "yellow vest" protests in France.

The situation is radically different for asparagus, which have had the best export year in 2018, with the sale of 15,533 tons worth 42.7 million Euro up until October. Even in the absence of data from the last two months of the year, these figures are already record high.

Germany, France and Denmark consolidate as the main destinations, absorbing 39%, 26% and 10% of the total volume exported.

In 2018, the total acreage devoted to the cultivation of asparagus in Andalusia has stood at 9,578 hectares, almost the same figure as in the previous year (9,588 hectares) and more than the 9,061 hectares of 2016 or the 7,739 hectares of 2012.

Carrots have also closed an excellent season. In fact, the value of Andalusian carrot exports has increased by 10.4% in the 2017-2018 campaign, reaching 48.9 million Euro; the second highest figure on record, only surpassed by the 51.9 million Euro of the 2015-2016 campaign.

In spite of the reduction of the acreage, down to 2,421 hectares (-10,1%), and of the production volume, which has stood at 139,488 tons (-6,4% compared with the previous campaign), the value of the production has increased by 3.7%, reaching 72.3 million Euro. The average yield has amounted to 57,616 kilograms per hectare, with an average price of 0.62 Euro per kilogram.

The most important destinations, with Cádiz and Seville as the main suppliers, have again been France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Good garlic campaign
The value of the garlic production in the 2017-2018 campaign has reached 154.33 million Euro; 20.2% more than in the 2016-2017 campaign.

Córdoba and Sevilla are the largest growers, accounting for 39 and 23% of the acreage. As in the case of carrots, there has been a decrease in the acreage, from 5,708 to 5,112 hectares (-10.4%), and in the production volume, from 72,909 to 66,541 tons (-8.7%).

As for exports, garlic is gaining ground in the United States, which absorbs 8.5% of the region's production, 2.5% more than in the previous year.

At the same time, Andalusian garlic sales consolidate in Germany and Brazil, which are the sector's two main customers, absorbing 17 and 15% of the production, respectively. The United Kingdom, Italy and France are other loyal buyers, each accounting for around 7.6% of the production.



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