frosts put stone fruits against the ropes

This was the coldest April in the Mediterranean in the last 30 years

The spring weather has significantly affected the European summer fruit campaign reducing the production in northern Spain, France, and Italy. According to the National Federation of Fruit Producers of France (FNPF), there will be a 40 to 50% decrease in the country's campaign over the previous year; an estimate that could rise to 90% in the Rhone Valley. The same storm hit the Italian regions of Tuscany, Piedmont, and Lazio affecting up to 80% of the fruit on average.

This drop in the international supply would normally benefit Spanish producers, such as those in the Valencian Community. However, the coldest April in the last thirty years is also having an impact on the Spanish productions because of direct losses of crops, the proliferation of fungi, and delays in work that can end up causing marketing difficulties.

Jose Luis Sanz, a producer of peaches from the Ribera Alta, said that the excessive rainfall had damaged the fruit and caused losses of between 30% and 40% in the warehouses. Furthermore, another 10% of the production of the earliest varieties was lost in the field.

The inclement weather has also affected the nectarines. According to the head of the AVA-Asaja fruit sector and former president of the Benifaio cooperative, Juan Jose Alepuz, the prospects at the beginning of 2021 were very good, but the excess of rains and sudden weather changes are damaging the skin of the fruit. "The campaign started with good prospects, especially after the results of last year, when high demand led to increases in consumption. But the weather has changed everything," he stated.

Alepuz also said that the rains affected the stone fruit crops the most, as they were in a very advanced state of maturation and the earliest varieties were already being harvested.

In view of the situation, the president of AVA-Asaja, Cristobal Aguado, asked producers and marketers that operate in the Valencian Community to remain calm because the objective market conditions, especially the lower national and European supply, would help all the links in the chain, including producers, to obtain fair prices.



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