The price of tomatoes, aubergines and courgettes has suddenly gone up, because icy weather in many parts of Europe recently has affected crops in Andalucía and countries which supply Spanish markets such as Italy, Greece and Turkey. The price increase is basically due to the law of supply and demand, because less produce is available and so it costs more.
The regional government's Observatory of Agricultural Prices and Markets says that aubergines are now twice as expensive as at the end of last year, green beans have gone up by 64 per cent and courgettes by about 75 per cent. For example, aubergines which were 1.81 euros a kilo are now 3.28.
The Young Farmers Association (Asaja) cannot remember a situation like this occurring before, and fears that prices will remain at these levels for several weeks because the plants which were damaged by the cold will need between 20 to 30 days to begin producing again.
Benjamín Faulí, the organisation's general secretary, says that although agriculture in Spain was not as badly affected as elsewhere, it cannot meet demand. He also suspects that some stores are taking advantage of the situation to boost prices artificially.