Pepper prices have gone through the roof. The high demand for this product since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, together with the low supply in a period in which Almería's campaign is ending and Murcia and the Netherlands don't have the usual volumes for this time of the year.
Prices at auctions in Murcia can reach up to 2.80 Euro per kilo for the best quality yellow peppers, the most sought after at the moment given their scarcity. The 6 kilo box of yellow Murcian peppers can cost up to € 3.50 per kilo.
"We cannot meet all the orders we receive," says Ángel Izquierdo, commercial director of the Murcia-based auction and trader Soltir. "Almería's campaign is almost over and the pepper production volumes in Murcia are lower due to the impact of rainfall in recent weeks and in previous months. At the same time, the Netherlands does not have enough volumes either, so there is a lower pepper supply than usual."
The Murcian pepper campaign started in week 12 with small volumes of long green peppers, which now cost 1.85 Euro per kilo on average, and bell peppers at a price of 95 cents per kilo. The red and yellow ones arrived in week 14. Red bell peppers cost 2.12 Euro per kilo on average, while the long or lamuyo red peppers are sold for an average of 2.02 Euro per kilo.
"The closure of the Horeca channel and of many central markets worried us at first, but the demand from the retail chains has more than made up for it," says Ángel Izquierdo. Prices are very high, so we'll wait and see how consumers react in the coming days."
"In the coming weeks, the prospect is that there will be a greater supply of peppers, although in general, there will still be less than usual in Murcia and production gaps are expected in May," says the producer and exporter.