The Spanish stone fruit season is currently getting underway. "We're getting the first peaches. At the end of the week, we'll start with paraguayos. And at the beginning of next week, we'll get the first nectarines. We're also already in full swing with Spanish cherries," says Erik-Jan Thur of Marni Fruit in the Netherlands.
A little less isn't a bad thing
"Elsewhere in Europe, the frost significantly damaged stone fruit. My Spanish suppliers are also expecting slightly lower yields than in previous years. In our business, a little less is often not such a bad thing. It maintains the product's demand which usually results in better prices. With melons, warm weather immediately causes an upturn in the market. That's less so in the stone fruit season's early stages. Many people are now getting that summer feeling. They're looking for something new. As the summer progresses and it's sunny, sales are often much smoother."
"Most of our peaches are larger (26-28). The largest sizes are selling for about €7.50 to €8. The medium sizes for between €6.50 and €7, and the smallest ones for €6. That's all for four-kilogram boxes. The price of nectarines is just one euro higher across the board. Paraguayos are around €15-€16. Good cherries also fetch a tidy price", says Erik-Jan.
Firm, dark cherries
"Demand for, particularly cherries, is focusing more on good varieties like Brooks and Santina. The first cherries are soft and light in color. These are given less and less importance. People immediately start looking for firm, dark cherries. You must have those in stock. They must be of good quality and under a good brand. Then, you're guaranteed to have sales."
According to Erik-Jan, the melon market's still quite dramatic. "With the nice weather, watermelon prices have climbed to a €0.50 to €0.60 level. But that's from between €0.35 and €0.40."
"I think these are increasingly becoming a weekend, impulse-buy item. There's demand on Thursday and Friday. Then you sell a few loads. But at the beginning of the week, it's only pallets at a time."
"It's difficult to sell Piel de Sapo melons at the moment too. Yellow melons are still scarce and are priced at €7-€8/9kg. We'll have to wait for the coming arrivals from Murcia. The same goes for Galia and Cantaloupe. We're getting around €6 to €7 for the good sizes," Erik-Jan concludes.