Prices in Almeria's auctions still show a worrying downward trend for some products, especially cucumbers, but also zucchini, whose prices at the start of the campaign are raising more and more concerns.
"Almeria cucumber productions have started in the province, but the campaign is still in its final stretch in the Netherlands, and precisely because it's about to end, the quality of the produce is not the best, so it is being offered for lower prices, and this is having an impact on the prices in Almeria," said Paco Gómez, manager of Agroejido. "On top of that, we've had good weather here, which has given a boost to the production and caused some oversupply in the market."
"We cannot say it with certainty, but due to the weather, the Netherlands usually stops supplying between mid and late October, and then Almeria's productions start taking over market share. However, if we still have these prices by October 1, when the combined market share of Andalusia in Germany, France, Spain, the UK, and the Netherlands exceeds 50%, the extension of the rule that prevents the marketing of the second category will come into force."
In yesterday's auctions, the Almeria-type cucumber reached a weighted average of 0.26 euros per kilo. "It is true that, when prices are so low, growers don't usually offer the second class categories they may have for even lower prices, as at the moment, only first and extra categories are being sold, so the extension of the rule would have limited effectiveness. However, it always helps to give visibility to the problem at the administrative level and in the media."
Zucchini prices are also registering a downward trend, with averages of 35-38 cents per kilo. "In this case, we believe that there is still a lot of zucchini production available across the country. It is a product that is grown in the open ground in many places, and temperatures have been giving a great boost to the production, so we also believe that there must be some oversupply. We have also noticed a link between high temperatures and lower consumption in both Spain and Europe."
Agroejido has an organic production line, which is also affected by the current situation that cucumbers and zucchini are going through in the conventional segment. "The market trend is the same for both conventional and organic products, although we cannot forget that the organic market is much more stable, and price declines are not as steep in that segment."