The Government of Brazil's decision to close its borders to European plums to prevent the arrival of the Lobesia botrana plague, which came into force on June 1, has particularly affected farmers in Extremadura, which produces up to 80% of all Spanish plums, as exports to Brazil accounted for 24% of their exports. The South American country demanded the application of methyl bromide to export fruit, a phytosanitary product that has been banned in the EU for years.
The Association of Fruit Growers of Extremadura (Afruex) assured that there had been advances to unblock the veto in recent days: "They have already sent us a draft protocol, which we are currently discussing to make it viable," said Miguel Angel Gomez, the manager of the association. However, if this solution works out, it would apply for the next campaign. "This year has already been lost because we have already collected practically all the fruit," he added.
Due to the closure of the Brazilian market, the companies that exported plums to that destination are now seeking alternative markets, which have been saturated by an oversupply that has sunk prices. Even large companies such as Fruticola Castillo, which only sent to Brazil 7 to 8% of its exports, have been indirectly affected by this issue: "It has had a serious impact. The volume that was sent to Brazil each year has been directed to other markets where we were already installed and prices there have collapsed," stated the manager of the company, Francisco Castillo.
The same is true for Tany Nature. According to Jose María Naranjo, the company's head of marketing and business development, the company sells to 58 countries, none of which exceeds 20% of its international trade share. Despite not being directly affected by the closure of Brazil, they have seen markets that had a good price policy collapse due to excess supply. "You can't put all your eggs in one basket because sometimes these things can happen," Naranjo stated.
In the beginning, Afruex requested the Administration to withdraw surpluses to avoid lowering prices, but their request wasn't accepted. Now they are asking for aid so that these producers can face the damage this veto has dealt them.