Almeria's pepper and cucumber volumes have dropped significantly this week and the supply will be more limited in the coming weeks, something that begins to be reflected in the prices.
At the same time, there is hardly any cucumber production at the moment in the Netherlands and the amount of peppers available is extremely small. The first Dutch green peppers hit their local market about two weeks ago and the other colors are arriving this week. A slow start is expected for the Dutch pepper and cucumber campaign, since sunny days have been very scarce this winter.
"We expect pepper prices to rise significantly in March," said José Antonio Baños, president of the Almeria-based company Ejidomar. "We are already seeing a considerably increase in the demand for Spanish peppers and cucumbers. The quality of the cucumbers is currently falling, since they are mostly planted in autumn and now, at the end of the campaign, second class products abound."
While Morocco's competition is increasingly hard in the case of tomatoes and zucchini, this doesn't apply to peppers and cucumbers, with which Almeria dominates in the autumn and winter months.
Regarding the melon and watermelon campaign, which will start this spring, José Antonio Baños expects similar volumes to those of last year. "A lot is already being planted in Almeria. How early or late the campaign will start will depend on the weather and on when the autumn campaign comes to a close."