So far, the flowering stage has been developing normally in the stone fruit producing areas of the Region of Murcia. There has been good weather, with cool nights and sunny days. In the earliest areas, the first fruits have already started setting.
"As long as no adverse weather events are recorded, such as frosts or last-minute hailstorms, we expect the harvest to take place on the usual dates, unlike last season, when it was delayed. There should consequently be good yields of peaches, nectarines, Paraguayo peaches and apricots," says Joaquín Gómez, president of Apoexpa.
According to Joaquín Gómez, Murcia's stone fruit acreage has stabilized due to the difficulties of the last few campaigns, in which prices have generally been very tight.
"Given the average prices of recent years, no more hectares have been planted, and some fruit tree plantations have even been uprooted to replace them with other crops, such as citrus fruits or table grapes. Some investments have also been made in varietal reconversion, seeking more precocious fruit with more flavor and higher Brix degrees. Some growers have also been carrying out tests with organic plantations. Most of Murcia's stone fruit production concentrates in the first months of the campaign, from mid-April to the end of June."
"If the quality of the next harvest is good, we could enter new markets outside the European Union, allowing us to diversify the supply and maybe get more profitable prices. South Africa is increasingly interesting, as the shipments don't take too long to arrive (between 18 and 21 days by sea). In addition, since the application of the new CETA free trade agreement between Canada and Europe, we are finding very good opportunities in the Canadian market. Last year, we already took advantage from the absence of tariffs and we expect to increase our shipments this season," said Joaquín Gómez.