The cherry campaign is finishing early in the producing areas of the Ebro Valley, in the Spanish province of Tarragona, due to the high temperatures recorded this spring, especially in the last few days.
"We started the harvest about 15 days later than usual due to the low temperatures recorded in late March and early April, a period in which there were also frosts. The good weather after that and the heat waves of the last few days will cause the campaign to end almost a week earlier, so this year's campaign is going to be unusually short," says David Manero, partner of Cerima Cherries. "We will finish in about a week," he adds.
In addition to this campaign being around 3 weeks shorter, it has also been characterized by low volumes and a shortage of large sizes.
"The frosts at the beginning of April reduced our production in the lowest areas and the heat has accelerated the ripening of the fruit on the trees, especially in the most recent weeks, causing the sizes, in general, to be small, both in our producing areas and in the rest of the country. Our cherry harvest will be between 30 and 40% smaller than usual. This year it has been difficult to obtain an optimal harvest. At least the rains have been kind to us," says the grower and exporter.
Prices have been better than last year, according to David Manero, although only about enough to compensate for the lack of kilos and the increase in costs due to inflation.
"The demand has been good from the start, so given the lower supply, prices have gone up. The increase in selling prices is fully justified, taking into account that the costs of production, harvesting, handling and packaging have increased by more than 30%. These prices have therefore not made it possible to obtain profitable profit margins."
As usual, from the second week of June onwards there starts to be more cherry supply in other producing areas in the rest of Spain and exporting countries in the Mediterranean area. "So far, we have not noticed significant competition, except for last week, when the Turkish production started gaining a significant presence in markets such as Germany," said David Manero.