According to the ASAJA Alicante's table grape sector, sales have fallen by almost 30% compared to the same period last year. According to José Enrique Sánchez, president of the table grape sector at ASAJA Alicante, in these first days of the campaign consumption has been very slow, there's a lack of buyers, and they ask for fewer grapes. As a result, during September producers are working at 40% capacity, when they would normally be working above 80%. "Right now we should be taking out around 45 pallets a day but we're lucky if we take out 18; it's almost a third of what we normally take out at this time," Sánchez stated.
In addition, producers are facing greater competition from the fruit from other countries. Many customers choose to consume these fruits because they are cheaper, Sánchez said. The province is a very important market for the sale of grapes, he added, but at the national level, the consumption of these varieties takes place in the north of Spain. Places like Cantabria, Bilbao, and Madrid represent some of the most powerful consumption areas this season.
According to the farmers, the strong inflation and increase in production and transport costs cause consumers to divert their purchases to other more affordable fruits. In fact, given the poor forecasts, producers themselves chose to register around 10% less production under the designation of origin, which has significantly reduced the harvest marketed under this quality seal to 35 million kilos.