Spain: "Competition from Central European greenhouse vegetable products will gain force in March"

In week 9, corresponding to the period between February 27 and March 3, 2023, the price of the main greenhouse products continued to be high for this time of year. However, as the Observatory of prices and markets of the Junta de Andalucía advanced in its latest report, "international competition will begin to gain force throughout the month of March."

Regarding the international supply of tomatoes, "the production of the Netherlands is very low in this period due to the low levels of solar radiation that the plantations received in February."

"Moroccan tomato exports increased sharply (by 48%) when compared to last week but continue to be lower than on the same dates of the previous campaign. Turkey's supply was also depleted by low winter temperatures, which contributed to limiting the availability of tomatoes in the European market."

The average price of tomato fell slightly compared to week 8 (by 3% for branch tomato and by 1% for pear tomato), while supply decreased by about 15%; however, prices were above the prices recorded in the same week of 2022. According to data shared by the Observatory, compared to the same week of last year, branch tomato prices increased by 28.4%, pear tomato prices by 35.5%, and round tomato prices by 52.8%.

"The completion of short-cycle plantations in Almeria and Granada has reduced the quantities collected, and supply continues to be adjusted," the report concluded.

"The eggplant campaign has developed with very high prices since September; however, according to sources in the sector, the value of the products marketed to date is very similar to ones achieved in the previous season. Winter temperatures have slowed down the production and fattening of the fruit, but they haven't caused a decrease in crop productivity, as has happened in pepper.

In week 9, prices were 6% higher than in the previous week and a remarkable 145.5% higher than in the same week of 2022.

"The Dutch eggplant campaign started in March, and it should reach a significant production volume by the end of the month."

The average price of zucchini increased by 27% compared to the previous year, despite the increase in Andalusian supply and exports under the Moroccan quota (12%). In addition, it recorded a 60% year-on-year increase.

"The rise in temperatures and radiation levels during the week have favored the productive response of zucchini plantations in Almeria. Central Europe's production starts slowly, with a reduced supply from the Netherlands, Belgium, and France in the European market."

The average price of Almería-type cucumbers registered a new fall in week 9, and the volume marketed decreased by 10-15% over the previous week. "Almeria's and Granada's late cucumber plantations are in production. The quality of the product is as expected from the crops in their final cultivation phase. Regarding competition in the international market, it's worth highlighting that there is a reduced supply from the Netherlands and the start of production from Poland and Greece."

Finally, the average price of pepper decreased by 4% compared to the previous week, and its supply decreased by 10 to 15%. However, it continued to mark interesting year-on-year increases compared to the same week of 2022: +130.8% for Red California, +39.2% for green California, +27.3% for yellow California, and +143% for red Lamuyo.

"The autumn-winter campaign has been affected by numerous quality problems due to the effects of the high temperatures experienced until January and the affliction of frequent pests. These factors have led to a 1.5 to 2 kg/m² decrease over the previous season in the productivity of late pepper crops." "Some late pepper plantations have been withdrawn prematurely due to the difficulties that have arisen in the latest curds. Producers have opted, in this case, for late watermelon or melon transplants," according to the report.

"The Netherlands has begun to market reduced quantities of California green pepper, cucumber, and eggplant. A notable increase in these references is expected in early April," the Observatory stated in its report.

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