Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Manel Simon, director of Afrucat:

"Prices of small-sized nectarines plummet at the start of the Catalan-Aragonese harvest"

The stone fruit harvest is already coming to an end in the south of Spain, in regions such as Andalusia and Murcia. Meanwhile, over the last two weeks, volumes have started to increase in the north, in parts of Catalonia and Aragon, which account for around 80% of the country's total production. Therefore, most of the fruit supply is arriving between July and August, which is also when summer fruit consumption usually spikes.

Given the significantly earlier start of the Murcian campaign, there are good prospects for the season in the north, with a lot less overlapping, since the productions there were ready to be harvested at the usual dates. Moreover, Catalonia has not had to deal with the dreaded restrictions in the use of water for irrigation, because it has rained sufficiently, and the crops are delivering good quality and sizes.

"Nonetheless, just before the Catalan campaign starts, we are seeing much sharper price drops than usual at this time of year for small-sized nectarines, which are the ones that are usually packed in baskets for large European retailers, and which account for a significant share of the total volume," says Manuel Simon, Director of Afrucat, the Catalan Fruit Business Association. "At the moment, there is a great deal of pressure on prices and supermarkets are offering as little as €0.90 per kilo," he says.

According to Simon, there are various factors behind this situation. One of them is the weather in Europe, which has so far been colder and rainier than usual and has failed to stimulate the consumption of summer fruit:

"In spite of the earlier harvest in Murcia, there has been a full production, which has perhaps exerted more pressure than expected. Extremadura, too, has had good yields and lower-sized nectarines. Moreover, the harvest has also started between 10 and 12 days early in France, a country that prioritizes its national production when it is available. Due to the weather conditions, Italy is also having an above-average percentage of small fruit this year."

Nevertheless, peach prices have so far been good. In fact, there has been a bit of a shortage and difficulties to meet all the orders. Meanwhile, the supply of flat peaches is relatively good and is being managed without any problems.

"We are only having a problem with the small-sized nectarines, whose prices are barely profitable or even not profitable at all, in some cases," says the Director of Afrucat. "It is for this reason that we have asked the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) for permission to set up beneficial industrialization plans, a mechanism that POs can implement at a regional level to deliver fruit to food banks or food processors in order to restore balance in the market. We need authorization from the MAPA, but we have not yet obtained it, so we will have to manage this problem in the best possible way.

"How can we deal with below-cost prices at certain times of the season? We have the Food Chain Law, but it is clear that we need quick and effective mechanisms to manage such situations," says Manel Simon. "In the coming weeks, we are confident that it will start feeling like summer, and as volumes increase, consumption will rise and there will be a good balance between supply and demand."

For more information:
C/ Corregidor Escofet, 64
25005 Lleida - Spain
T: +34 973 22 01 49

Publication date: