The green asparagus season is underway in Granada, the main producing area in Spain. The harvest kicked off in mid-March, about 3 weeks later than in the previous year, when there was an exceptionally early start. So far, the supply has been limited and the demand high, and prices are quite good.
"We are having a low production this season due to the dry autumn and winter in Granada. There have been quite a few days of rain this spring, but the aquifers have not been sufficiently filled for the summer. Temperatures are currently lower than usual and this means that the production is slow and we are harvesting on alternate days," says José Antonio Gómez Aguilera, president of the Espárrago de Granada cooperative.
"It should also be recalled that the area planted with asparagus has been reduced again this year as a result of the difficult campaigns of previous years. This is making the drop in this year's production even more noticeable," he says.
Other European producing countries, such as Italy, Spain's main competitor in the green asparagus market, or France also have production shortages due to the cold.
"It is quite unusual for there to be no overlap with our competitors in Europe. Spain is dominating the markets with a small production and the demand is, therefore, far greater than the supply this year. The little production available in Italy is being absorbed by its domestic market, and they are even importing from Spain," says José Antonio Gómez. "It's hard when there is overproduction, but also when we have to tell our customers that we are unable to meet all the demand due to a lack of supply. This generates tension."
Average prices are high, although we'll have to wait until the end of the campaign to find out if they compensate for the low volumes available. "This trend is not expected to change until the end of the season, in about a month's time. From the end of May onwards, the first batches will start to arrive from Peru, but the logistic issues at a global level will not facilitate the arrival of large volumes of asparagus," says José Antonio Gómez.
José Antonio Gómez Aguilera
Espárrago de Granada, S.C.A.
T: +34 958513061