The pepper harvest has started recently in Almería; earlier than usual, because producers had planted earlier. As the days go by, the supply will gradually increase, although the volumes are still limited and won't become significant until the end of September or the beginning of October. For the time being, the sizes are still small.
The campaign is starting with good prices. The most noteworthy are those of red bell peppers, and especially those of the red Lamuyo, because both Almería and Murcia are finishing their campaigns earlier. “Apparently, the Netherlands is finishing its harvest early due to the high temperatures and generally good weather that they've had throughout the summer. There is a small gap in the market and prices are high,” says José Antonio Baños, president of the Ejidomar company from Almería.
In general terms, although growers have planted earlier than usual, the acreage devoted to peppers in Almeria is expected to have remained similar to last year's. What we'll see will be larger volumes at an earlier time.
As for eggplant, the acreage is expected to increase. "Unlike tomatoes, peppers or zucchini, eggplants have suffered very few pest issues in recent years, motivating growers to choose this crop. The fact is that summer crops are attracting a lot of thrips that end up taking a toll on the start of the autumn harvests. Eggplants, which are cultivated all year round in Almeria, are currently reaching good prices.”
The first Ejidomar peppers are intended for the German and French markets and will gradually reach more countries as the supply increases. The company also exports peppers to the United States, although those shipments won't start until December, since Mexico dominates the market at this time with very competitive prices.