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Imports have grown by 45% in recent years

Valencian almond harvest to drop by 35%

Initial estimates from LA UNIÓ forecast an almond production of slightly over 4,000 tons, which would entail a 9% decrease compared to last season, when the production was already one of the lowest of the century. With this new harvest, records will be broken again for low yields, falling 35% below the average for the 2000-2022 period. However, the quality is very good, better than in the previous campaign.

Forecasts vary slightly depending on the province. In Alicante, which has a higher concentration of irrigated almond trees, the production is expected to amount to around 1,500 tons, which represent an 18% increase. In Valencia, with an estimate of about 1,600 tons, there will be a 5% decrease, while in Castellon, the most affected by drought, just over 1,000 tons are expected, a 35% decrease.

The reasons for this drop in the production are primarily the lack of rainfall in recent months, especially during winter and spring, which has exacerbated the ongoing drought that most of the country's producing regions have been enduring.

There is also an alarming lack of profitability in the farms. Last season's prices were 60% lower than those of the 2014/15 campaign, while there's a growing import of almonds from California at ever-lower prices. Almond imports to the Region of Valencia have increased by 45% in the last fifteen years. The import price of North American almonds in 2023 was €3.63/kg, 26% less than in 2022. These imports are of lower quality due to the production systems they use, as evidenced by the detections of aflatoxins. Faced with this situation, LA UNIÓ advocates for "strengthening our productions and avoiding excessive dependence on imports."

This unfair competition with the region's almond producers is also driven by large, local entrepreneurs, who are reducing their purchases of regional almonds and replacing them with imported ones, thereby harming the local production. This campaign, the situation may already be irreversible, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts a production of 1.36 million tons, 21% higher than in 2023 and the second highest in history.

LA UNIÓ will propose a series of measures to the Council of Agriculture aimed at minimizing the impact of the severe climatic situation, including the allocation of funding for the replanting of trees killed by the drought, the revision and updating of rainfall data so that more producing areas can benefit from the coupled aid of the CAP for nuts, and minimum water allocations to save those almond trees that are in an almost terminal condition.

For more information:
Ricardo Beltrán
+34 618 71 63 47
[email protected]

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