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Spain: yields and prices are up

16/10/2019 - François-Xavier Branthôme - 2019 Season - Read in French
“Extremadura's tomato crop will be bigger than in 2018”

This year's tomato production in Extremadura will exceed what it was in 2018, notably thanks to fewer storms and mild summer weather, a situation that has led to a crop of excellent quality in the context of higher prices paid for raw materials.
According to statements made to the Spanish press by Domingo Fernández, President of Acopaex (Association of Agricultural Cooperatives of Extremadura), during the last days of September, while the harvest was starting into its last week, overall production in Spain could be 5 to 10% higher than it was last year. 

Mr. Fernández explained that average yields of about 95 mT/ha have been recorded this year, which is approximately 5 mT/ha more than the average results of last season. Surfaces planted this year with processing tomatoes in the region have been similar to those planted last year, but the virtual absence in 2019 of violent storms (like those that occurred during the 2018 season) accounts for the notable improvements recorded for this year's performance. Summer 2019 has recorded limited rainfall and few heavy storms, with temperatures that have been sufficiently high for the crop to be harvested according to schedule and without incident.

 The Acopaex President also made reference to the trade context, stating that "sales prospects are satisfactory" thanks to smaller harvests in a number of other countries, "resulting in operators needing to call on existing stocks, which leads in turn to an increase in prices." “It is true that there has been some oversupply worldwide in the last few seasons, but some balance is being recovered,” says Domingo Fernández. Since prices in the processed sector are better than at this time last year, Domingo says that “we can speak of a clear rebound. Prices are currently already higher than those of last year at the same date – although this varies for each type of product, but we can talk about an overall jump of approximately 10%."

About 80% of Spanish tomatoes are grown in Extremadura and tomato products are exported across Europe. “Germany is still one of the largest European consumers. Of course, the United Kingdom is an important consumer, and Brexit will not change their habits, so they will likely continue demanding tomatoes from Extremadura. We hope that the necessary bureaucracy to export won't complicate the negotiations or cause the final price to increase unnecessarily,” said Domingo Fernández. 

Some complementary data
 Source: Ag Weather, EU Commission


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