As reported by representatives of the stone fruit sector at a meeting with the Director General of Agricultural Productions and Markets, Esperanza Orellana, summer fruit producers are dealing with problems in the marketing of some of their products due to the excess of small and medium sizes, which is taking a toll on the prices that growers perceive.
"In bulk, prices can vary by up to 12 cents, which translates into either earning or losing money," says Oscar Moret, head of the fruit sector at the Union of Agricultural Producers and Livestock Farmers of Aragon (UAGA) in the Lower Cinca area. “The prices reached are in no case spectacular. Nectarines, for example, can reach a maximum of 38-40 cents if they reached a good size and have not been affected by thrips, and production costs amount to around 35 cents.” While the fruit's size is not a determinant factor for the flavor, Moret says that this marked difference in prices is due to the fact that “there is an excess of small and medium sizes, but not a lot of large ones. However, now that we are going to start picking peach varieties that are larger, perhaps the smaller ones will reach higher prices.”
In any case, what prevails this year are the small and medium pieces, as confirmed by Alberto Ortego, head for the fruit sector at the UAGA in the area of Calatayud. "In our area, the fruit's size was already determined by the frosts of March and April and the high temperatures recorded in recent weeks. In fact, we started without a market price." Moret also says that “the cold spring, along with the high temperatures, have led to the production of these calibers”. To this we must add the problems with the shortage of laborers, which have caused the harvest to finish later than desirable.