Prices for Spanish strawberries have fallen by a fifth this year on last season, according to producer-exporters’ association Freshuelva.

The association represents the sector in Huelva, the largest growing region, which accounts for 90 per cent of the Spanish strawberry crop.

Since the start of the year, unseasonably cool temperatures and heavy rainfall, particularly during the last week of March, have damaged crops. A contraction in demand, particularly in Germany - Huelva’s largest market for strawberries - has also affected revenue.

According to Freshuelva general manager Rafael Domínguez, the sector was hoping to harvest some 300,000 tonnes this season but that volumes are expected to be down by a quarter before the season’s end.

An uplift in pricing has not materialised and as a result volumes destined for processing are 50 per cent up year on year. Prices paid by this sector have fallen by €0.25-0.30 per kilo as a result and producers have therefore been finding it hard to cover their costs of production.

However, it is thought that the situation could have been worse had main competitor Morocco not also suffered with unseasonable weather conditions and an early finish.