The cherry season is underway in Zaragoza with a good demand and acceptable prices, since the supply from other areas has been affected by adverse weather conditions. Given the high yields, prospects point to a large stone fruit production, with generally smaller sizes than usual.
"We have been harvesting cherries for three weeks now and, little by little, we are getting more consistent volumes," says Sergio Alonso, Commercial Director of Cosanse, a company based in the Spanish municipality of La Almunia de Doña Godina, in Zaragoza. "The rains in our production area have had little effect on the cherries, except for some specific varieties. The season is otherwise moving forward with apparently good results."
"We are noticing the impact of the floods in Italy, as we are seeing more demand than usual from this country. At the same time, rains seem to be slightly affecting the volumes from the Jerte Valley, so in general, sales remain high and prices stand at very acceptable levels. We will see how the season develops from June onwards, when more production from other origins starts to arrive," says Sergio Alonso.
Despite the fact that the severe drought has also taken a toll in Zaragoza, the cooperative had enough reserves to be able to "hold out" throughout the summer. Large volumes are expected to be harvested this stone fruit season, which will begin with the first apricots in a few days.
"For now, we are expecting to obtain a much greater production volume than last year, when frosts destroyed a very significant part of the crop. This year's high yields have led to a significant increase in thinning costs, and with so much fruit on the trees, sizes will generally be smaller," says the commercial director of this cooperative. "As far as pome fruit is concerned, the season will also be very different to the previous one in terms of volume. Prospects point to a normal production, with good quality and smaller sizes," he says.
"Our producing members have told us they are concerned about the high production costs, so we hope that sales prices will allow us to cover those costs and ensure profitability. Although the production is greater this year in northeastern Spain, Europech forecasts indicate that other European countries are only reporting slight increases," concludes Sergio Alonso.