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French cucumber production increases by 4% in a year

"As of June 1st, 2024, French cucumber production is estimated at 178,400 tons for the 2024 campaign, representing an additional production of 6,600 tons compared to 2023. In May 2024, prices were 53% higher than in May 2023, a month that had been characterized by particularly low prices, and 29% higher than the 2019/2023 average for a month of May," according to the Agreste conjuncture note.

Higher yields in 2024
National cucumber surfaces for the 2024 campaign are expected to be down by 1% compared with last year, down to 1,034 hectares, but up 2% on the 2019-2023 average. This drop is attributable to a reduction in greenhouse acreage in the Loire Valley. French cucumber production is estimated at 178,400 tons in 2024, which represents an increase of 4% from 2023 and 1% compared to the five-year average. The increase is particularly marked in the center-west basin for greenhouse production, and to a lesser extent in the southeast basin, due to improved yields.

June should see a traditional drop in production compared with May, as it corresponds to a period of planting of second crops of cucumbers in greenhouses. This year, however, the decline is likely to be more marked due to the bad spring weather in the Center-West basin, which slowed plant growth and subjected production to heavy pest and disease pressure.

Unbalanced market due to April weather
In February, the French origin was sought after by central purchasing agencies, so prices were firm, despite the presence of Spanish products on the market. In March, small-caliber cucumbers dominated due to the lack of sunshine. With Spanish supply still present, prices were on a downward trend. In April, the market became unbalanced as the month progressed, with greater supply and demand moderated by cool temperatures. The market remained complicated at the beginning of May, with a high level of supply in the face of a persistently slow demand. After that, the market took a turn for the better, with grubbings and a lack of sunlight delaying the start of production, limiting the volumes available and significantly boosting prices.

Between January and April 2024, exports (6,300 tons) were down by 4%, while imports (29,000 tons) were up by 10%, compared with the same period last year. Overall, the deficit in foreign trade volumes is up by 15% from last year.

Source: Agreste

Photo: Dreamstime

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