The Spanish grape campaign has started late and with prices lower than last year, but El Ciruelo hopes “to recover positions” due to quality and service
The ‘butterfly effect’ is nothing new in international trade. To a large extent, agricultural campaigns depend on what is happening in other countries. This year, Spanish grapes started 10 days late and with prices that are 20% lower than those of 2019 due to the influx of produce from Egypt, which has ‘moved’ from Asia to Europe, channelling a large part of its volumes to the European market. From Grupo El Ciruelo they hope to minimise this impact on the price over the next few months. “We are trying to recover positions on the market by offering more quality and service. It is a year with good fruit, in both quality and quantity. We are ready to carry out a good campaign,” explains José Velasco, CEO of the Group.
During this year, they foresee marketing between 45,000 to 50,000 tonnes of Spanish grapes to which they will add another 30,000 tonnes in counter season from their crops in Brazil.
The uncertainty of the pandemic is making them more cautious and although they are already operating in Vietnam (the first operations started on the 9th of July) and other Asian countries,
They will follow a continuist line. In 2020 they are going to maintain around 20 containers for Asia and they will put the growth in volumes ‘on hold’ until the global healthcare situation improves. “There are still restrictions in ports and delays with the shipping companies. You load up in good faith, but the transits take 30 days and in this time the world can change completely, so we are going to move more cautiously. Thailand and Taiwan are future areas for our growth, but the sector needs a peaceful atmosphere in order to continue extending markets.”
An area where their market share is growing is in the varieties with the ‘Moments by Ciruelo’ brand. “They are being very well received. They are products that never disappoint, anyone who tries them, loves them and this continues, with a domino effect. We have managed to keep them on the supermarket shelves for 15 weeks, so that consumers can find them for longer.” Currently they are marketed in the main distribution chains in Spain and the rest of the EU.