The winter temperatures are regulating Andalusia's horticultural supply in a period when demand is growing. The lower temperatures recorded in the month of November have caused a slowdown in the tomato harvest.
The monitoring report of the protected horticulture sector corresponding to week 46 (from 14 to 20 November), published by the Prices and Markets Observatory of the Regional Government of Andalusia, shows that ribbed (0.91 Euro/kg), long life (0.40 Euro/kg) and pear (0.68 Euro/kg) tomatoes have all become significantly more expensive. However, the abundant supply of long life tomatoes in Almeria and competition with the Moroccan production are causing it to reach the lowest price of all varieties analysed. Ribbed tomatoes have a better quality and have seen their price increase considerably, just like the pear. Tomatoes on the vine, with 0.52 Euro per kilo, cost approximately the same as in the previous week. The entry into production of the later transplants has compensated to a certain extent for the productive slowdown caused by the winter meteorological conditions.
In Eastern Europe, the tomato season is over, and although there are still some stocks available, the quality is no longer good enough for export. At this time, Poland is importing tomatoes mainly from Spain, with a fair volume coming also from the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, the supply of loose tomatoes and tomatoes on the vine has been low during the week at hand. The domestic season is also coming to an end and the Spanish product is gaining market share. However, in these countries there are more and more crops that remain productive all year round.
There has been a slight reduction of the prices, which stand at an average of 0.56 Euro/kg, as well as of the available supply of peppers compared to the previous week. Yellow bell peppers and the Italian varieties are the ones that have recorded the greatest depreciation.
Until mid-November, Dutch peppers compete against the Spanish production in European markets. Afterwards, the Dutch supply is significantly reduced and Almeria's production gains market share in Central Europe.
Regarding competition from third countries, it is worth noting that Israel won't really compete with Almeria until December and January. Despite the gradual increase of its production, Morocco is not taking a significant toll on the marketing of bell peppers from Almeria, given that its production is controlled mainly by European companies that draw up programs directed to specific customers. The Turkish production is also not a great competitor for the province at this time, as there is a very strong local market and the re-establishment of trade relations with Russia will facilitate the distribution of much of its supply outside the European Union.
The shortage of cucumbers of the Almeria variety has led to a notable increase of the prices paid to their growers, which stand at 0.84 Euro per kilo. The high prices at origin are resulting in consumer prices standing above 1 Euro per kilo, which could cause the product's consumption to slow down.
Due to the reduction of the acreage devoted to cucumbers in the province of Almeria and the Coast of Granada, as well as the delay of the transplants in the areas of Ejido and Roquetas, there has been a gap in the production at this time, with the consequent increase in the price of the Almeria variety. This campaign, numerous producers chose to carry out early transplants of Almeria cucumbers, which are withdrawn in late October to prepare for a second cycle. With this crop organization, the producers aim to obtain the higher prices that are traditionally reached during the winter period.
Courgettes, together with cucumbers, aubergines and green beans, are among the crops that are most sensitive to low temperatures, and which suffer a greater productive slowdown due to the rigors of winter. Numerous courgette producers have decided to do what they already did last season: to carry out very early transplants, which are withdrawn in November to prepare for a new crop cycle. This planning is the reason for the limited domestic supply in the month of November; a circumstance that is aggravated by the scarce Moroccan supply. Morocco, together with Almeria, is the main supplier of courgettes to the European markets, but this season its production has been severely affected by the New Delhi virus.
The reduction of the aubergine acreage this season, as well as a decrease in the frequency of harvesting in the unfavourable weather conditions of the month of November, has led to a substantial reduction of the supply and a considerable increase of prices, which have reached up to 0.92 Euro per kilo. As has happened in Spain, winter temperatures have reached Central Europe, boosting the demand for aubergines and putting an end to the production in those countries.
There has been a significant increase of green bean prices in the second half of November, reaching up to 2.13 Euro/kg. The supply of green beans is reduced in the winter months in Almeria, while in the region of the Coast of Granada, concretely in Carchuna, numerous plantations will fail to reach significant volumes until the month of January.
In week 46, the quota of tomatoes exported by Morocco to the EU amounted to 6,207 tonnes, which is 7% less than last week. In the first 20 days of November, the volume exported by Morocco to the EU has reached 18,275 tonnes, 2% less than in the previous campaign. To date, 48% of the authorised monthly quota has been used.
During the same week, the volume of courgettes exported to the EU was estimated at 565 tonnes, 64% less than last season. The colder temperatures recorded in November have slowed down the spread of the New Delhi virus; however, the yield of the farms has been seriously affected.