According to Afrucat, Spain will produce the lowest volume o fruit in the last 40 years because of the damage caused by the frost in early April, especially in stone fruit in the Ebro valley, one of the most important producing areas of sweet fruit in Europe, as well as in Catalonia and Aragon.
The general director of Afrucat, Manel Simon, said producers must plan their summer very well in the face of this decrease in production. He also said he hoped Spanish companies would prioritize exporting sending their production to the closest destinations and that there would be a significant decrease in exports to third countries.
In fact, according to Simon, expectations are that priority will be given to those large buyers who take into account the quality of the product and the 35-45% increase in production costs there's been this year, much to the detriment of speculative destinations that are only interested in prices.
The season will begin in the coming days with the arrival of the first peaches and nectarines from southern Spain. The effects of the frosts won't be noticeable in these first weeks. Theoretically, the lack of product will be noticeable in June, when the markets are supplied by the fruit of the Ebro valley.
According to Afrucat, there will be a lower impact on apples and pears, as the frost didn't affect this crop that much and farmers were able to apply treatments. However, the sector will have to wait a few weeks until the arrival of heat to see what percentage of fruit was salvaged, as the cold has caused apples and pears to grow without seeds, which weakens them and causes them to fall from the trees as they grow.