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Paco Gómez, from Agroejido: "We will start exporting this week, or the next at the latest"

"Apparently, there are still overseas watermelon programs ongoing in Europe"

The prices on Almería's auctions reflect the end of the autumn/winter greenhouse vegetable export campaign. "The supply of bell peppers, one of Agroejido's main products, is still quite great because the planting started late and the season lasted about 15 days longer than usual," says Paco Gómez. "However, in general, it's still noticeable that the end of the season is near, with prices dropping for almost all products, and a quality that remains good, but is starting to deteriorate. The weather is also behind the falling prices, because with longer days and the heat, spring crops like zucchini or eggplant become more productive."

"Moreover, other production areas have already started their campaigns, with Murcia in the lead when it comes to bell peppers," says Paco.

"As for prices, we have seen drops, for example, in the case of short cucumbers, which have been sold for more than a euro during the campaign, and have stood between 24 and 39 cents/kilo last week. Zucchini prices have also dropped, ranging between 55 and 67 cents/kilo."

"Last week, striped eggplant has still been marketed for a high price of between 1.20 and 1.68 euros/kilo, but that of long black eggplant has dropped and ranged between 25 and 45 cents/kilo."

"Regarding bell peppers, some varieties are faring better than others. The yellow ones, of which there are hardly any left, closed last week at 74 cents/kilo, and the red stood at between 70 and 97 cents/kilo, but the green from new plantings did much better, closing the week at between 1.18 and 1.55 cents/kilo. The same has happened with the Lamuyo. The price of the red one has ranged between 0.97 and 1.30 euros/kilo, while the green one from new plantings has been sold for between 1.51 and 1.63 euros/kilo. In recent years, producers have been betting on such spring/summer bell pepper crops because of their very interesting prices."

"The Italian bell pepper closed last week with prices ranging between 85 cents and 1.17 euros/kilo, and the Palermo, already very scarce, exceeded the 2.50 euros/kilo."

"Regarding bell peppers, the retail is practically already withdrawing from Almeria, although for other products there is activity almost all year round. From early May, the focus is on the domestic market, which will be the main destination for our products in the coming months."

The domestic market, in fact, plays a very important role in boosting melon and watermelon consumption in these initial stages of their campaigns, although not for all sizes.

"Sizes 2 and 3 are the most consumed in the domestic market, and last week they were marketed for between 70 cents and 1 euro per kilo. Meanwhile, small to medium watermelons were sold for about 50-60 cents."

"The smaller sizes are normally intended for export, but many destinations in Europe have yet to start consuming Spanish watermelons because, apparently, they still have overseas watermelon programs ongoing."

"Right now, there is a shortage of large-sized watermelons. Everything available is sold at good prices," he says, "and there is a bit of an oversupply of medium and small sizes due to the characteristics and cultivation conditions of the early productions, which grow with more cold and less light. But shipments to Europe should start this week or the next, and once they do, the prices are sure to increase, at least those of the smaller sizes."

For more information:
C/ La Parra 53
El Ejido, Almeria, Spain
Tel.: +34 950 489 105
[email protected]

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