Spain is expected to produce its lowest volume of fruit in the last 40 years due to frost that hit its fruit-production regions in early April1, 2, especially the Ebro Valley – one of Europe’s most important producing areas of sweet fruit.
Manel Simon, the general director of the Catalan fruit association – Afrucat, said producers must plan their summer very well in the face of this decrease in production, adding that he hoped Spanish companies would prioritize exporting their production to the closest destinations and that there would be a significant decrease in exports to the third countries.3
Expectations are that priority will be given to those large buyers who take into account the quality of the product and the 35-45% increase in production costs there’s been this year, much to the detriment of speculative destinations that are only interested in prices.
According to Afrucat, there will be a lower impact on apples and pears, as the frost didn’t affect this crop that much and farmers were able to apply treatments.
Unfortunately, these figures do not take into account major damage to apricots caused by the severe hailstorm that struck the region of Murcia on May 2, resulting in the loss of the fruit and widespread damage to trees. Murcia produces two-thirds of the country’s apricot.4
“Practically 100% of the crop has been destroyed, affecting millions of kilos of fruit,” Antonio Moreno of the agricultural union UPA told La Verdad.
José Miguel Marín of the agricultural organization COAG said although it is too early to give an accurate assessment of the damage, losses are in the millions because the fruit and the trees themselves have been lost.
On April 29, Afrucat estimated that European production of apricots is expected to be 514 516 tons (more than 31% compared to 2021). However, it’s important to understand that 2021 was the weakest harvest in the last 30 years (down 8% from the 2016-21 average).
1 Record-breaking cold hits Europe, causing widespread damage to agriculture – The Watchers – April 5, 2022
2 European cold wave aftermath- Spanish fruit producers severely affected, France spared the worst – The Watchers – April 12, 2022
3 Spain will produce its lowest volume of fruit in the last 40 years – Fresh Plaza – May 4, 2022
4 Severe hailstorm decimates apricot crop in Spain – The Watchers – May 4, 2022
Featured image credit: Global Times (stillshot)
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