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Spain: Andalusian chestnut production 60% lower, but better prices

The Andalusian chestnut campaign has finished in the Genal Valley, in the province of Malaga, while in the mountain range region of Aracena, Huelva, it is coming to an end earlier than usual, as the high temperatures registered in October accelerated the fruit cycle. 

As stated by the head of the sector in COAG, Francisco Boza, "the effects of climate change are evident in a crop like chestnuts, as very warm autumns have been recorded in recent years, with temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius, which deteriorates and does not encourage harvesting and consumption, with it being closely linked to cool and rainy autumns. "Malaga's harvest has been 60% smaller than usual, with a total of about 3.5 million kilos, with really good sizes and quality, which has resulted in good prices.

In the region of Huelva, the harvest of the late varieties continues and production has been estimated at around a million and a half kilos, with good sizes and quality, but in this area the main problem has been that such high temperatures have led to the premature fall of the leaves, making it difficult to harvest.

Exports to Italy entail a rise in domestic prices
Just like last year, 70% of Andalusia's production has been shipped to Italian importers, who, because of the chestnut gall wasp plague, are suffering a drastic reduction in their harvest volumes, which again encourages strong demand, leading to high domestic prices of around 2€/kg on average for Malaga's growers and 1.50 €/kg for Huelva's.

The sector is currently very concerned about the appearance of the pest this spring in the province of Malaga, so COAG "urges the Government of Andalusia to continue doing anything necessary to fight it, in partnership with the sector."

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