The ongoing cold front in Italy has now hit Spain too. It has caused a sudden shortage in the Spanish vegetable sector. "The nights are at around freezing point here in Alicante. In Almeria, it's 2-3°C at night. Then production comes to a standstill," says Thomas Bos of Thomasol. This farm supplies wholesalers, retailers, importers, and exporters. These companies buy and sell Spanish fruit and vegetables.
"Added to that, we had nice, clear weather until Christmas. So, everyone was harvesting early. It makes it even tougher, now that everything's stopped growing. It's not even that there's high demand. But, when there's no supply, prices get absurd. Aubergine, courgette, and cucumber prices have risen particularly high. Aubergines now cost €3/kg in Spain. That's before they're even been transported to the Netherlands. Cauliflower isn't only unaffordable; it's also unavailable. And broccoli has risen from €0,80 to €1,80/kg in just a few days."
"High prices always seem like a God-send. But due to the limited supply, it isn't greatly effective. After all, you first want to keep your regular clients happy. They always support you. That which is available for the free market is, indeed, very expensive," says Thomas. "We also expect heavy rainfall until Sunday. For us, in Alicante, that means rain, but at altitude, it'll snow. In Madrid, they're expecting temperatures of between -10 and -12 degrees. That'll undoubtedly cause transport problems for the trucks. They have to drive through central Spain."
But Thomas remains non-committal. "The cold's here; we have to deal with its consequences. Precipitation is predicted until Sunday. However, as always in situations like this, seeing is believing," Thomas concludes.