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Spanish onion takes advantage in the markets

Frente al momento dulce de la cebolla, el mercado del ajo se encuentra paralizado por el hundimiento de precios del 50% provocado por la competencia china.

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Onions and garlic live both sides two markets characterized by competition from imports and the need to enforce the differential quality of Spanish products. In the case of garlic, the fear for Chinese production comes to light. The result of each campaign depends on how the product of the Asian country is quoted. And the last one has been “chaotic”. “There is a complete breakdown of the market”, summarizes the director of Anpca and Procecam, Luis Fernando Rubio.

This year’s campaign, which has grown close to 4% in production and accumulates stockpiles from other seasons, has been marked by a good quality and a price breakdown of 50%. As Miguel del Pino, president of Aprocoa, remarks, this recurrent situation is causing a reduction in the area that can reach 20%. The main problem of the sector is that the Chinese quota is significantly exceeded by the illegal entry of this product, especially through the Eastern Countries, which collapses the prices and puts into question the sanitary guarantees of these productions. Rubio recalls that the sector is demanding a renegotiation of the quota and that controls should be reviewed, in addition to the promotion of European garlic.

The situation is completely different in the case of the onion, which is living an “exceptional” moment and great opportunities in the markets, with an increase in production and very good prices despite the reduction in area of 4%. Planting by transplant and drip irrigation, a crop improvement of recent years focused on strengthening quality, is already giving good results such as more uniform production in quality and caliber and higher yields, explains the president of Procecam.

The weather has also helped this campaign, with a mild summer in Spain, and several heat waves in Europe, which has increased production in our country, and has reduced by 30% in competing areas such as the Netherlands. As a result, prices have risen by 30% and have reinforced the differentiation in quality of Spanish onion, a great asset to approach new markets.
On his behalf, Pedro Jurado, onion specialist technician in Bejo, adds as main weakness of the sector “the limited collaboration between producers and marketers”, in addition to a clear commitment to conservation onion varieties.

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