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Italy: Very few chestnuts available

"Production in the Caudina valley used to be of 2,000/3,00 tons but this year there are only few dozens of quintals available," explain various producers in Campania.

The chestnut campaign in Southern Italy started at the beginning of October or, actually, it started for those few who managed to produce something, as many have nothing to harvest.

According to the producers, there are two reasons behind this: the chestnut gall wasp and downy mildew (caused by a hot and humid summer).

The result is that the prices of chestnuts imported from Spain, Portugal, Albania, Turkey and Eastern Europe have skyrocketed but their quality is not nearly as good as that of the Italian produce and they have a much shorter shelf-life. 

Italian chestnuts are quoted at around €2-3/kg. In Spain, they hover between €2.50-2.70/kg at origin, to which transportation costs must be added, so prices in Italy reach €3/kg. Producers, however, explain that the price is actually higher, as 30% of the produce must be discarded and so processing costs must be added too.

This way, chestnut prices go up to €4-5/kg, with slight changes depending on the grade: €5/kg for the bigger ones (48-50), €4.60-4.70/kg for 60-65 and €4.20-4.30 for 70-75.

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