According to Freshuelva data, there has been a decrease in the volume collected in the first phase of the 2021/2022 campaign. This setback took place between March and the first half of April, stated the manager of Freshuelva.
In March, in particular, the arrival of strawberries from Huelva to European markets decreased by 8% over the same period in 2021, while in the first fifteen days of April, this percentage decreased by 3.5%.
According to Rafael Dominguez, Huelva's strawberry exports decreased mainly because the rains in February and March led to lower production on the plantations and more fruit being discarded. In addition, the low temperatures recorded in Europe led to lower consumption of strawberries in households.
Another important factor why Huelva's strawberry did not reach the same volume as in previous years in Europe during this period has been the competition it's faced from Greece, Dominguez said. Greece is significantly increasing its production and its hectares of strawberries without providing much information because the EU does not ask for it, he stated.
"The strawberries that Greece usually transports to Eastern European countries and those closest to its own territory now end up on the Central European markets due to Greece not being able to export to traditional destinations due to the war between Ukraine and Russia," Dominguez stated.
"March has been the best month so far because, at certain moments, the price of the strawberry was almost 30% above the previous campaign. The lower volume allowed demand and supply to be compensated. That's why it wasn't difficult to sell the strawberry in March, quite the contrary. In addition, during that month we were the only ones who were exporting fruit to the United Kingdom, as Morocco couldn't do it due to the impact of the weather on its plantations. We could have sold more strawberries if we would have had more. March was the right month for a good campaign," he stated.