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Strong competition from Spain

The Sicilian stone fruit campaign starts with apricots

"The stone fruit campaign has just started to liven up in inland Sicily with apricots. Production will not peak before well into the month, but it seems the season will be good, while the commercial campaign will not be too driven, at least so far," reports Salvatore Lodico, an expert who has been operating on the international market for many years.

Salvatore Lodico.

"This year, we perceived the Spanish competition right from the start. Spanish apricots look good and are processed well, even though they do not taste as good as ours. The difference will be even more perceivable over the next few weeks, when the organoleptic qualities of our fruits will develop fully. As soon as the early varieties are over, we will continue with medium-late ones throughout the whole summer season, which boast the best flavor and texture. Prices at the moment vary between €0.50 and 0.70 per kg, depending on the batch."

Tard Red peaches during ripening. They will be ready in early September.

"Peaches and nectarines are doing differently because, at least in our area, the fruits have just started to ripen. We have just harvested the first fruits with satisfactory grades between A and AA. I do not believe we will exceed these standards, which are anyway acceptable and do not affect flavor, which is line with our best tradition."

Royal Sweet peaches during harvesting in August.

"While we are a point of reference when it comes to the quality of medium-early peaches and nectarines, it is our late varieties that make the difference, which are available until October. The production gap in other areas coincides with our best flavor, especially when it comes to peaches. Prices are not well-defined at the moment because there is little produce available. The campaign will liven up in July, and then will be the moment to talk about prices. There is a lot of euphoria at production at the moment, and we are far from having stable quotations."

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