It’s been more than a month since we officially finished the black truffle season in Spain in March 15th. Again it has been the worst I remember, like last year.
The figure makes the typical picture, with low prices at the beginning as quality is low, raising to maximum during Christmas, to drop after Christmas holidays when most Michelin restaurants close and raising up again in late January-February, when truffles are at its best and demand raises due to the canneries who are eager to buy to autoclave to get stock for the year.
Figures are not complete at the end of the season. I will try to update them as soon as I get the latest figures. I would like to thank the Teruel Truffle Growers Association to be able to share these figures.
Blue line: whole sale minimum price
Red line: whole sale maximum price
Green line: : retail average price
In July and August the season was good, it was not a dry summer and the plantations had a lot of truffles, however between September and November it did not rain anything which caused the truffles, already formed, to dry on the ground. In addition to the lack of water, the temperatures of autumn were very high and did not get to cool down enough on the nights of October and November.
Even so, the season started with a lot of truffles in the markets, double that of previous years. But you could see truffle had suffered, it was dry, more “engraved on the surface”. I imagine the climatic conditions caused that most of them were harvested before Christmas, when in a normal year would have left on the ground for January-February. Therefore when it arrived January-February, which is when the truffle is at its best and when companies usually make stock, the quantities collected were half of the previous year, with a production that did not cover the strong demand. Hence the high prices of this campaign.
With all this, and always without having real total data, I think I’m not wrong if I say that this season has closed with some 40 tons produced in Spain, therefore similar to the season 2016/17, but in general with worse quality truffle:
Truffle prices probably have been so high due to the low production in France. See the Carpentras truffle market data for the last 4 seasons:
Weekly prices for Lalbenque market in France https://rnm.franceagrimer.fr/prix (just write “truffe”)
Marcos S. Morcillo
Thanks for update, Marcos!