The broccoli and cauliflower season was delayed in Murcia due to the heat and hail storms in some of the higher growing areas. Now the volumes have gone back to normal, but the demand has soared in Europe and it is difficult to find any supply outside of already established programs.
"The demand for brassicas and cabbages is 25-30% higher than expected across Europe," said Nacho Domenech, CEO of Murcia-based Agromark. "It is worth recalling that around 30% less cauliflower has been planted in Murcia this year, so there are shortages and prices are very high."
"As for broccoli, although the supply is very tight, we remain self-sufficient and we are managing to meet our commitments with the distribution chains, although prices are much higher than last year's," he said.
According to the producer and exporter, "at this time, those wanting to stock up will have to pay some high prices, both because of a limited production and increased costs. It is impossible to acquire products and use them for promotions. Given the water shortage, the production available is just enough to meet the programs of the usual customers and there is hardly anything available on the free market."
"Although we still need rain, the upside is that the dry weather prevents the spreads of pests and diseases, so the quality of both cauliflower and broccoli is really good," said Nacho Domenech.
The drought and the restrictions in the supply of irrigation water in Murcia have caused a reduction of the acreage of products with high water requirements, such as artichokes, and their prices are skyrocketing.
"Further water restrictions are expected from January onwards. In fact, many areas are already dealing with such limitations, as is the case of Lorca. If we do not have more water from January, there will be product shortages and prices will be very high. It is impossible to replace Murcia when it comes to the cultivation of brassicas during the winter in Europe."