Spanish Broccoli campaign stable after initial uncertainty
This year’s broccoli production will match that of previous campaigns, in spite of the “initial uncertainty” among growers, who delayed the first plantings in June, following the outcome of the Brexit referendum and “the uncertainty about whether there would be enough water for irrigation.”
This was stated by the secretary of the consortium for the promotion of broccoli, +Brócoli, Javier Bernabéu, after recalling that around 240,000 tonnes, which is almost half of the annual production (between 480,000 and 500,000 tonnes), are intended for the British market.
“The Brexit generated doubts regarding how the market was going to behave, but it is a question of trends that may change in the long term and which may eventually result in the sale of Spanish broccoli no longer being profitable in the United Kingdom. In any case, such trends should not change in the short or medium term,” he assured.
Given the possibility that the export of Spanish broccoli, which absorbs 90% of the production, may have to switch to other markets, Bernabéu has mentioned the “great potential of Central and Eastern European countries, as well as of the United States, which is the largest consumer of this vegetable,” and which usually buys the product from Mexico.
“The delay of the first planting has eventually not taken a toll on the average acreage devoted to broccoli each season, which amounts to almost 40,000 hectares, or on the prospects in terms of production volume,” he said, after explaining that the crop has developed faster over the past two weeks due to the good temperatures recorded.
“Reasonable” prices for the producer
Following the good summer campaign, with medium to high average prices, the European demand has consolidated with reasonable prices for the producer, which reached about 60 cents/kg in mid-October and now stand at around 55 cents/kg which, in his opinion, entails that the 2016/17 will be a “good campaign that promises to be normal.”
He reported that the October, November and December productions have already compensated for the delay of the first ones in June and July, so the current prospects could only change with the impact of the weather, since “broccoli is not suited for very hot temperatures.”
“In 2017, +Brócoli will continue promoting the benefits of this food, which despite having been grown for 40 years, mainly in Murcia, Navarre, Andalusia, Extremadura, Castile-La Mancha and the Region of Valencia, has only been consumed in Spain for the past ten years, according to Bernabéu.
“In those ten years, we have managed to increase the per capita consumption from zero to one kilo, while in the European Union that figure is close to 2.5 kg on average. This figure is however still far from the 5-6 kg per person and year consumed in the United Kingdom or the 8 kg of the United States,” commented the secretary of Brócoli.