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The Spanish cherry campaign is coming to an end

"There was a lot of tension in the cherry market, it was impossible to supply all the demand"

The 2023 Spanish cherry season is coming to an end with higher prices than in the 2022 season due to the sharp drop in supply in different production areas, and the effects of weather in other producing countries, such as Italy and France. Demand has been much higher than supply, which has led to a lot of tension in European markets so far.

Storms in Spain destroyed 70% of the harvest in Extremadura, in the Jerte Valley, one of the main producing regions of this fruit, as well as in Murcia, Almeria, Alicante, Castilla-La Mancha, and in parts of Catalonia and Aragon, where there were problems with the supply of irrigation water due to drought. Moreover, Turkey focused a little more on the Middle Eastern and Russian markets. Greece had no supply issues but it didn't have enough product to cover all of Europe's demand.

Producers who did not suffer from bad weather achieved good results, with high returns, covering the increase in production costs.

"There was a lot of tension in the cherry market because it was impossible to meet all the demand we were getting," stated a Catalan producer and exporter whose production wasn't affected by this year's frost and rain.

"We were surprised by the fact that we did not notice the pressure from Turkey on the German market, which was quite unusual. In fact, contrary to what almost always happens, we continued to receive requests for cherries even though the Turkish season had started," he said.

“We normally plan our production in the previous years based on the customers we have and our sales growth prospects, so situations like this completely change the business strategy,” he added.

“Prices have been very high because there was a low supply, but they did not record high prices. If we compare current returns with those of the early 1990s, they remain low, given the increase in production costs, which have accelerated in the last two years due to inflation, especially in labor, packaging, and machinery. Those who sold their crops were able to cover their costs perfectly this year. It's worth noting that Spanish cherry producers achieve lower returns than Chilean producers, as their production costs are lower than ours,” the exporter concluded.

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