Volume of fresh fruit and vegetables down by 12.2 per cent, wholesale value up 23.5 per cent
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The volume of fresh fruit and vegetables passing through the official markets in the first quarter of 2008 amounted to 10.0 million kilograms implying a drop of 12.2 per cent over the same period last year. This decline in the quantity was contrasted by an increase of 23.5 per cent in the wholesale value, which amounted to €4.62 million.
During this period, the supply of fresh vegetables fell by 14.0 per cent, from 11.0 million kilograms in 2007 to 9.5 million kilograms in 2008. Noticable declines were recorded in the supply of Potatoes (-33.5 per cent), Vegetable Marrows (-24.0 per cent), Cabbages (-24.4 per cent) and Cauliflowers (-11.0 per cent). In contrast, the wholesale value of fresh vegetables rose by 24.4 per cent to €4.13 million in 2008, as a result of a general increase in prices that resulted from the drop in the supply of fresh vegetables on the market.
Over the comparative period in 2007, the supply and wholesale value of fresh fruit registered gains of 44.6 per cent and 15.1 per cent respectively. Citrus fruit, namely Oranges (+128.5 per cent) and Sweet Oranges (+74.0 per cent), underpinned mainly for the increase in fresh fruit availability. The increase in the wholesale value is attributed to the increase in the supply of fresh fruit, as wholesale prices, in general over the comparative period, declined.
The volume of fresh fruit and vegetables supplied by Maltese farmers decreased by 13.7 per cent over the corresponding period in 2007. Maltese farmers supplied a total of 8.94 million kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables, or 89.4 per cent of the total supply. The decline in the supply of Potatoes (-33.2 per cent) was the main factor behind the decrease. On the other hand, the wholesale value of fresh fruit and vegetables rose by 23.8 per cent, from €3.94 million in 2007 to €4.88 million in the same period this year. Gozitan farmers contributed a total of 1.1 million kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables, or 10.6 per cent of the total supply. The volume and wholesale value of fresh fruit and vegetables increased by 3.2 per cent and 21.4 per cent respectively over the comparative period last year.
The quarterly ‘All Items’ fresh fruit price index decreased by 24.61 points (-16.3 per cent), from 150.53 points in the first quarter of 2007 to 125.92 points in the first quarter this year. Then again, the fresh fruit volume index rose by 22.89 points (+44.6 per cent), to 74.25 points in the first quarter of 2008, mainly due to the increase in Citrus fruit on the market. The quarterly ‘All Items’ fresh vegetables price index increased by 50.99 points (+48.9 per cent) from 104.22 points in the first quarter of 2007 to 155.21 points in the first quarter this year 2008. In contrast, the fresh vegetables volume index declined by 15.27 points (-14.0 per cent) to 93.88 points in the first quarter of 2008.