This year, the Spanish stone fruit campaign is putting an end to the trend of recent seasons, marked by high volumes and strong pressure on prices. The fall in the production across Europe, and in particular in Spain, where the meteorological instability this spring has changed the course of the campaign, is shaping the market situation for these fruits, reports Kiko Torres, a partner in the fruit and vegetable marketing company Exquisite Fruits.
Daniel Vidal and Kiko Torres, founding partners of Exquisite Fruits.
"A lot of fruit had been expected, as in previous years, and that has led to the signing of contracts with lower prices," says Torres. "The reduction in the supply is making the marketing a little tough, since it is difficult for us to meet all our commitments."
In addition to the reduction of the stone fruit supply in Spain, which is very remarkable in Lleida, where a devastating hailstorm hit 12,000 hectares in mid-June just before the harvest started, there have also been losses caused by frost in other European countries. Between July and August, the latter usually play an important role in the market.
“Right now, the position of Italy and France should be strong and there is not much fruit from these origins either. There is little fruit and a difficult market, because there is also pressure on prices," says the partner of Exquisite Fruits. "However, we can say that we have had a good campaign, with both volumes and prices so far."
Kaki production is expected to drop by up to 30%
“We are already focusing our efforts on kakis, closing programs and signing agreements with cooperatives and suppliers in order to supply our clients. This year, it is estimated that there will be 25-30% less fruit due to atypical temperatures, but larger sizes are expected."
However, despite the decrease in this fruit's production, Torres says that, based on the export programs to the Middle East, Hong Kong and several European countries, including Germany and Switzerland, he expects kaki sales to grow by between 30 and 35%.
Citrus and berries
Despite the fact that kakis are still one of the most important products for Exquisite Fruits, citrus and berries are taking on an increasingly relevant role for the company. “With berries, we have achieved great expansion and growth. We have done very well in Huelva. Furthermore, it has been a good year for citrus.”
According to Torres, the coronavirus crisis has led to an increase in the sale of fruits with a longer shelf life. “European consumers, forced to remain in lockdown at home and only go to the supermarket once a week, have preferred to buy, for example, a kilo of oranges, rather than a kilo of strawberries. This has helped push citrus fruit sales.”