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Kees Havenaar, Frutas Luna:

"After two good springs, Spanish growers are gambling on the first months of 2024"

In Spain, Almerian greenhouse products, except melons, had an exceptional spring. Spanish exporters are, thus, eager to see how the year's final months will unfold. "It's the same game every year," laughs Kees Havenaar of Fruit Luna. "Two big producing countries are on the market at the same time. One starts, the other ends."

"It began with very high bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, and aubergine prices in September. Those were too high for the northern European market and even more expensive than the Dutch product, which is usually sold before the Spanish anyway. I expect Spain to take over somewhat after week 44 with many products."

What is his outlook for the season? "I still don't have a crystal ball, but I have expectations. The bell peppers are generally far later, and two weeks later can easily mean harvesting begins a month later. We expect a later start for tomatoes, too. To save labor, thanks to less virus pressure and after two good springs, we're gambling on the first four months of 2024 again," he replies.

Acreage-wise, the exporter expects fewer Spanish tomatoes and peppers, a similar acreage of cucumbers, but more bell peppers and mini-cucumbers. "The latter has only increased in the last three years but now has the acreage, I believe. What the trade is going to do? I truly have no idea. The temperatures here will undoubtedly remain good until sometime in December. Most importantly, though, is that nighttime temperatures are going to drop. Our suppliers' crops look excellent, healthy, fresh, and virus-free."

Kees is hopeful that good prices will be made in the last two months of this year and that those will stay good in spring, too. "I expect fewer outliers than in recent years. But as always, it could just as easily go the other way if it gets extremely wet or cold here. Or the whole world gets upended again, and energy prices skyrocket."

Kees with his son at Fruit Attraction

"It's that unpredictability that makes our business so unusual and enjoyable. That was also evident at the trade show. Nobody really knows; even the Dutch importers don't know exactly what spring will bring. Everyone agrees more lights will go on, but not how many. We're, in any case, once again ready for it all," Kees concludes.

For more information:
Kees Havenaar
Frutas Luna
Tel.: +34 (0) 950 178 653
Email: [email protected]

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