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Maura Maxwell



Prices surge as veg shortage bites

The price of some vegetables are at their highest level in 15 years, according to Anecoop

Prices surge as veg shortage bites

Iceberg prices have quadrupled in some markets

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The cold snap that has gripped large parts of Europe in recent weeks has sent vegetable prices soaring as markets face shortages across several product lines.

According to Anecoop, the increases vary considerably between products, with some registering their highest levels for 15 years. While broccoli and cucumber prices have doubled compared to this time last year, courgettes are selling for three-times more and iceberg lettuce has seen a four-fold rise on 2016 levels.

The Spanish company added, however, that the shortage has yet to impact citrus prices, even though exports are expected to fall by 25 per cent in the wake of the freeze.

The low temperatures have cut vegetable output in Spain by around 20 per cent, while growers in southern Italy is facing losses of 50-60 per cent in certain crops. Spain and Italy produce 18m tonnes and 24m tonnes of fruits and vegetables a year and are the biggest European suppliers of vegetables during the winter.

Retailers are being forced to turn to non-EU countries such as Morocco and the US to make up the shortfall.

Juan Marín, president of Murcian exporter association Proexport, said markets would remain undersupplied until the new production cycle reaches the market in March or April.

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