Spain is the world's second-largest producer of artichokes, behind only Italy, and Murcia leads its production by concentrating approximately 40% of the total national harvest, according to the latest MAPA data.
Simon Conesa, the president of the artichoke sector of the Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers and Exporters of the Region of Murcia (Proexport), expects the region will produce 220,000 tons of artichokes in this campaign. Usually, 60% of the production is allocated for the industry, and the remaining 40% is for fresh consumption. 75% of the production will be consumed nationally and the remaining 25% will be exported to the Community market.
Last week, artichoke experienced a notable 9.58% increase in price, ending an upward trend that the sector deemed necessary after a complicated campaign start. The price in week nine of this year stood at 1.99 euro per kilo, in the same week of 2022 it stood at 0.82, and in 2021 it was 0.96.
According to Conesa, this price increase is a consequence of adverse weather conditions, which are taking a toll on the field and crops. Specifically, the heat of the last months of 2022 has caused the artichoke to have a lower yield. "Artichoke is a winter product so the high temperatures have had an impact on its quality.”
In addition, changing temperatures have led to the appearance of diseases such as the mildew pest, which has directly impacted the artichoke crop causing prices to fall by 20% to 30%, Conesa stated.
However, he said, this should be a temporary situation that shouldn't affect the price and quality of the next crops.