The 2017/18 Spanish kaki crop is expected to reach 320,000 tonnes, considerably down on the original 400,000-tonne forecast due to the heat waves that affected the main production areas during the early summer.
The latest estimate released by the Spanish Kaki Association points to an excellent quality harvest with an abundance of larger sizes, which augurs well for the export market.
The revised forecast pegs the crop at similar levels to last season, marking a slowdown in the exponential growth in new acreage seen over recent years.
Profitability has fallen sharply in the past three years, partly because of the veto in Russia – an important market for Spanish persimmons, and also because the European market, which absorbs around 88 per cent of exports, is reaching saturation.
According to Valencian Grower Union Ava-Asaja, prices at origin have fallen by an average of 25 per cent over the last there seasons, in some cases dropping below the cost of production.
Exporters are increasingly making inroads into new markets such as Asia, North America and the Middle East, where the varieties grown in Spain are proving popular among consumers.
Meanwhile, the volume of fruit marketed under the Kaki de la Ribera del Xúquer PDO is expected to increase by around 10 per cent compared to 2016/17.
Presenting the forecasts for the new season on Monday, Cirilo Arnandis, president of the PDO’s regulatory council, highlighted the excellent quality of the crop. Around 50,000 tonnes of kakis were sold under the label last season.
The label is once again planning a wide-ranging promotional programme in key markets including the UK, which will include retail point-of-sale activity, social media engagement and consumer and trade press promotion.