Greenhouse pepper producers in the Spanish province of Almeria have broken a production record in the latest campaign, having devoted the largest acreage ever to the crop, according to data provided by the Prices and Markets Observatory of the Government of Andalusia. According to a report issued by this agency, Almeria's pepper production has reached a record volume of 845.59 million kilos in the 2018/2019 campaign.
The greenhouse area devoted to this vegetable in Almeria has also been expanded, mainly because many tomato producers have made the switch to pepper cultivation seeking greater profitability. In this latest campaign, the greenhouse area in Almería devoted to growing peppers has stood at 11,115 hectares, 15% more than in the previous campaign.
Of the total volume produced, 803.31 million kilos have been sold for 618.7 million Euro, thereby obtaining the fourth highest price of the decade: € 0.77 / kg.
The Prices and Markets Observatory of Andalusia reports that the campaign started in September with significantly greater volumes than in the previous campaign. Almeria's production increased significantly in October, overlapping with the final stretch of the Central European productions.
The weather in late October and early November, with many cloudy days and low levels of solar radiation, delayed the ripening; however, the volume sold in both months was significantly higher than in the previous season. In November, the production continued to grow, but by that time the volumes marketed stood below those of the previous season, falling by 15-25% in the case of bell peppers and by 20-30% in the case of Lamuyo peppers.
By mid-November, there was a significant reduction in the Central European productions, allowing Almeria's bell peppers to take over the international markets.
In April, the export of Almeria's bell peppers entered its final stretch. The Netherlands then took over the supply in Europe. In Almeria, there was already a variable range of qualities that made it difficult for the product to arrive in optimal conditions to the farthest export markets.