High quality has brought expectations of a positive stonefruit campaign in Murcia, according to Gruventa, who believes the season will be a tonic for the region’s beleaguered producers after one of the worst citrus campaigns in recent years.
“The expectations are very favourable, and despite how difficult the citrus season has been, we believe we will see great agility on the market,” the company said.
“Provided the sector properly manages the overlap between the different production areas we see no reason not to be optimistic about demand and prices.”
The company said the outlook for the national market was equally positive, and it would be one of its priorities this year.
With harvesting of early varieties already underway in, producers say volumes of peaches, nectarines and flat peaches will slightly higher than in 2018 and more in line with a normal year, while apricot volumes are expected to fall by 25-30 per cent due to adverse climatic events.
Spain exported 382,378 tonnes of peaches in 2018, a fall of 15.6 per cent on the previous year, while the value of exports grew 1.5 per cent to €381.8m. Nectarine sales also fell by 23.6 per cent last year to 357,471 tonnes, with a corresponding value of €408.1m (22 per cent).
Plum sales contracted by 27.4 per cent in volume and 13 per cent in value to 71,565 tonnes and €86.5m respectively.