Last spring's frosts have caused many European stone fruit producing countries to record significant drops in the productions for this season, especially in the harvests planned from mid-June onwards. In Spain, Extremadura is one of the few producing areas where the impact has been mild, although prices are perhaps yet to reflect the reality of the international markets.
"The stone fruit harvest started recently, with a good production that reached between 70 and 80% of our potential," says Miguel Angel Gomez, manager of the Extremadura Fruit Growers Association. "Other producing areas are at 50 or even 40% of their potential in the rest of Europe, so the supply in the markets will be potentially low this year and many growers won't be able to cover their production costs," he says.
However, according to Miguel Angel Gomez, "prices are good, but not in line with the supply available in Europe. At this time it should already be noticeable that volumes are well below the usual and we do not understand why supermarket chains are pushing prices down. We cannot find a logical explanation, as the weather at the destination markets has been hot for weeks. Perhaps, the fact that other summer fruits such as watermelon have had low prices so far may have also partly dragged stone fruit prices down. What is clear is that this year's prices cannot be blamed on overproduction."
Plums are the most important product in terms of volume in Extremadura during the summer months. "This year, their production is at 80% of the harvest potential and their quality has been particularly good since the beginning of the campaign. We are still harvesting the first varieties and consumption is not as good as we would like it to be, but we expect it to pick up as the season progresses. This year, the Brazilian market is reopening, and that's an important one for our plums," says Miguel Ángel Gómez.
For more information: afruex.com