Lettuce output coolsThis article was originally published in Foodnews
LETTUCE production in Spain is being hampered by low night time temperatures. According to Proexport, the organisation of producers and exporters in Murcia, supplies will drop to the lowest level of the season this week, writes Diane Farquhar. The volumes of iceberg being harvested in Murcia and Almeria have been significantly below expectation in recent weeks because cold weather has halted growth. Night temperatures of 4-6ºC are forecast for this week, and this follows frost damage at the end of December. As a result, growers say it will be the poorest week of the season, with output only 50% of the normal level, Groenten & Fruit reports. Murcia is Spain's leading lettuce exporting region, accounting for 438 120 tonnes of the total of 564 774 tonnes exported by Spain in 2009. The bulk of the exports go to Germany and the UK. Dutch lettuce growers have not so far noticed much impact on their market from the situation in Spain, as demand for the types of lettuce they produce remained limited throughout January. Demand from the UK has been especially low and the market is expected to remain quiet in the coming weeks. The main competitor for Dutch growers is Italy.