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Stone fruit producers increasingly discouraged

Good August expected for melons and watermelons

A good August is expected for melons and watermelons, while stone fruit producers are increasingly discouraged.

The market situation and the prices at origin remain a headache for fruit growers, and while they await reasonable prices for watermelons, they express their complaints about the distribution strategy for melons.

The president of the Melon and Watermelon Interprofessional of Castile-La Mancha, Cristóbal Jiménez, said that a "reasonable price" is being paid for watermelons this year, with a sustained balance between supply and demand. This campaign, the production is expected to amount to about 190,000 tons.

In the case of melons, he trusts that the strategy that, in his opinion, distributors want to impose will be rejected, as it aims for the setting of a price of 28 cents / kg for the “extra” varieties, “which would entail sales carried out for prices standing between ten and twelve cents below the production costs."

"This year, the quality of Castilian-Manchegan melons is really high and the harvest is being carried out at the optimum moment," said Jimenez, who estimates this campaign's production volume at around 240,000 tons; "an amount that the market could absorb with ease."

In Catalonia, the president of the stone fruit sector at Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias, Javier Basols, is not very optimistic ahead of the coming weeks.

"The producers are complaining that they will not get the prices they expected," said Basols, who pointed out that the campaign will be neither good, nor catastrophic.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAP), this season's stone fruit production (without taking the nectarine data into account) amounts to 1.35 million tons; 1% less than in 2018 and 4% below the average of the last five campaigns.


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