Tropical fruits like avocados, mangoes or loquat have been gaining ground on cherimoyas in the province of Malaga, even though there are still some productive areas in the municipalities of Nerja, Frigiliana, Torrox, Algarrobo and Vélez-Málaga. However, this reduction of the acreage is not happening only in Malaga. In the whole of Andalusia, which accounts for 94% of the total acreage nationwide, the acreage devoted to the crop has dropped from 3,134 hectares in 2014 to 3,005 in 2018.
The largest production area is in the province of Granada, especially the towns of Motril, Vélez de Benaudalla, Los Guájares, Molvízar, Salobreña, Itrabo, Otívar, Lentejí, Jete and Almuñécar, all within the geographical area of the Designation of Origin Chrimoya de la Costa Tropical de Granada-Malaga. The most common cherimoya varieties here are the Fino de Jete (95% of the acreage) and the Campas, all extra and first class.
This season, the sector expects a very similar harvest to that of last year, with about 50,000 tons of very good quality fruit. The cherimoya campaign lasts about nine months. The current one started at the beginning of September and will last until May 2020, although after February the fruit will have a lower Brix.
Although the quality of this year's fruit is outstanding, the sector complains that prices are not high enough, as they actually stand below the production costs. The average price at origin has ranged between 0.70 and 0.80 Euro per kilo, "when production costs oscillate between 1 and 1.10 Euro per kilo," as pointed out by the president of the Regulatory Council of the DO Chirimoya de la Costa Tropical de Granada-Malaga, Antonio Sánchez, who said that only 20% of the production is marketed under the seal of the DO.
Sánchez said that most of the production is marketed in the domestic market (80%) and the rest abroad.
The sector reached a turnover at origin of about 41 million Euro last season.