César Claramonte, manager of Clasol:

"The good thing is that we are not being asked for more stone fruit than we can supply"

The stone fruit campaign is underway in the Spanish region of Murcia with lower volumes than expected due to the impact of frost and hail, especially in the case of apricots.

"The demand has been good so far thanks to the summer weather across Europe, but not as good as it may seem, as there is less fruit available at the beginning of this season compared to last year. We are, therefore, making good shipments every day," says César Claramonte, Clasol's manager. "The starting prices are high and the market is regulated by them. The good thing is that we are not being asked for more than we can supply," he says. "Every week, we are loading considerable volumes bound for Sweden."

Fortunately for this Valencian company, which has its own production and packing warehouse in Murcia, the frosts have hardly taken a toll on its harvest thanks to the use of anti-freeze systems. "Our peach and nectarine production is similar to last year's, slightly greater, even, while in the case of apricots we have suffered some hail damage, although, in general, there is enough supply of this product, increasingly consumed in Europe. Later in the season the volumes will be smaller," says César Claramonte.

Clasol's harvest in Murcia is immediately followed by that of Lleida thanks to a contract with two large producers. While sales prices are expected to remain high throughout the season given the drop in volumes experienced by Catalonia and Aragon, Clasol's manager is not so sure.

"Last year, all the main players in the Mediterranean arc had issues with the production, while this year Spain has taken most of the damage, both due to frost and hail. France and Italy have hardly had any problems, and Greece actually has a full production. It is worth recalling that the Greek production is becoming more professional and increasingly competitive, given the continuous improvement of its crops in terms of quality and food safety."

"We will see to what extent the shortage of Spanish volumes from June onwards will be reflected in prices at European level," says César Claramonte, who also recalls that, in general, the supply of summer fruit is being scarce this year. "We are seeing problems with the supply of melons and watermelons due to less planting and poor flowering because of the rains in Almeria, although we hope the situation will improve after the end of June."

The core business of this company, however, is citrus fruits. The mandarin campaign is currently coming to an end, while oranges will remain available until August. "Nadorcott mandarin sales are having a satisfactory end, with acceptable prices, and the same can be said of the Orri. This isn't the case with oranges, of which there is more supply than demand and whose prices have sunk."


For more information:
César Claramonte
T: +34 964585947
M: +34 634137441

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