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persimmon production has fallen by 70 percent

The production of Rojo Brillante kakis for 2022 has fallen drastically in the main production areas of Spain since the first forecasts. The current harvest will end almost a month earlier than last season.

In the last pre-season estimate, conducted in September, production was expected to fall by about 60 percent. Over the weeks, this decrease increased to 70 percent, mainly due to the reduction in fruit size as a result of the stress caused by this summer’s heat waves,” said Carlos Nemesio, sales manager of Anecoop’s persimmon and watermelon program.

The cooperative is the largest producer of Rojo Brillante kakis in Spain, with a production potential of 200,000 tons, reduced to around 70,000 this year. Around 50 percent of the kaki volumes exported from Spain are handled by Anecoop. “Despite everything, the supply lines for almost all of our customers in all countries could be maintained, although of course not with the usual quantities,” says the sales manager.

“At the production level, the stress on the trees has also affected the ripening of the fruit, which is much faster than usual. The persimmon harvest will end at the end of November, while it usually lasts until mid-December. As always, we will try to extend the season as much as possible, although we will hardly make it to the new year,” said Carlos Nemesio.

This significant supply shortage means that prices remain high. “Kaki prices are double last year’s levels and remain stable, but given the limited supply, they are still not high enough to offset the increase in production costs per hectare that many growers have suffered. It should be remembered that not only have the number of necessary treatments against pests and their costs increased, but also the cost of the CO₂ gas used to eliminate the astringency of the fruit, from 190 to 550 euros per tonne.”

Nevertheless, according to Carlos Nemesio, sales continue smoothly despite the high prices: “The price regulates consumption to a certain extent, because with such a drastic reduction in harvest, kakis are not available in all sales channels. You can now find them mainly in retail. There will always be consumers willing to pay the market price for kakis. Also, the fact that the sizes are rather small is not a problem for the sale, as these sizes are more in line with what is requested by Central European supermarket chains, where the prices are more stable. The absence of the large sizes, which mainly go to the hypermarkets, creates a further imbalance between supply and demand in the Spanish and European markets.”

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