The weather strongly affected the Sicilian tomato production. There have been serious virus problems right from the start (September 2016), so plants had to be uprooted and replanted in many of the companies in the south-west of the island.
Then, in January 2017, frost compromised production once again causing mould problems. Just a few weeks later, many areas were flooded. All these problems reduced quantities available, leading to high prices.
Things finally settled at the end of April 2017,when quantities went back to normal and prices dropped. In addition, exports dropped in late April/early May as central and eastern European countries started harvesting their own produce.
What is more, the high temperatures in June 2017facilitated the development of Tuta Absoluta and contributed to hastening the end of harvesting.
We have asked one of the leading agribusiness experts for an opinion on the current situation.
“Although prices were high in winter, I doubt the 2016/17 campaign will be considered satisfactory due to the lack of yields. It hasn’t been a good year for producers,” explained Massimo Pavan.
“In addition, quality is not up to par with the past few years precisely because of the weather. This is true for tomatoes in general as well as for our Pgi produce. The time has now come to prepare warehouses for the next season,but there won’t be much enthusiasm.”
The mini-watermelon campaign wasn’t so problematic,although it hasn’t been an exceptional year.
Mini watermelons inopen fields
“Production was okay with stable prices that covered production costs also thanks to the warm weather that favoured consumption. Yields were satisfactory thanks to good setting in spring.”
Source – http://www.freshplaza.com