The stone fruit harvest in the northern hemisphere is now ready to get underway. Smaller volumes of apricots, peaches and nectarines are already being harvested in certain Mediterranean growing areas, such as southern Spain and Sicily. In the central wholesale market hall, the first Spanish shipments arrived this week, says Sezgin Yildirim, stand manager of Or-Pa Ltd.
"In the wholesale market hall we are now the first with Spanish nectarines, apricots and peaches. Otherwise, so far only Sicilian stone fruits are available. However, these are smaller surpluses that are not sold on the Spanish domestic market. We will probably have to wait another 10 to 14 days for larger export quantities," Yildirm said. That means that only certain calibers are currently available, such as 22s (peaches) and 28s (nectarines).
Due to the weather, the campaign will start one or two weeks later than last year. Demand-wise, the cold snap is also noticeable, Yildirim said. "Demand is currently still very restrained. I think this has several reasons. First, the goods are priced quite high; peaches are about €4.00 / kg, apricots at €8.00 / kg. In addition, the fruits are not yet completely colored when they arrives here. Of course, you have to take that into account as well."
Overseas stone fruits continue to be offered in parallel with the first Spanish batches. "Goods are plentiful and available at affordable prices, yet demand is also rather restrained at the moment."