Storms and acreage reduction result in limited supply of leafy vegetables in Spain

The leaf vegetable sector in Spain is not getting a break from the bad weather. On the weekend of October 5 to 6, heavy rainfall and hail storms were again recorded between Lorca, in Murcia, and Pulpí, in northern Almeria, one of the largest leafy vegetable production areas. The heavy storms recorded a few weeks ago in the Levante area had already caused flooding on the coasts of Murcia, Alicante and northern Almeria.

"The areas that are fewer than 4 kilometers away from the coast were the most affected by September's severe storms, although there have also been significant damages up to 10 km away from the coast," said Javier Soto, head of the lettuce sector at Proexport. "Lettuce, spinach and other leafy vegetables had then been planted, with the harvest scheduled for early November, and this coincided with the main crop transplantation phase. The fields were flooded and it was necessary to wait for them to dry before being able to continue with the transplant tasks," he said.

As a result of all this, the supply of leafy vegetables is expected to be limited between weeks 44 and 48. "We expect about 60% to 70% of last year's production volume, since in addition to these weather adversities, there has also been a reduction of the acreage devoted to lettuce due to the low profits obtained by producers in recent years. Despite this, I believe that there won't be any shortages, since the producers have also sought alternative areas with a lower chance of rainfall," he says.

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