The prune industry has been one of the worst hit, with a 50% cut in exports over the past two years. However, the latest crop is expected to be double that of last year. Projected growth in almond production, from 450,000 tonnes this year to 700,000 tonnes by 2010, coupled with an expected drop in prices, will also cause exports to the UK to rise, according to the Almond Board of California.
Despite rising supplies, growers and producers have warned that they may look to other European markets because of the buying practices of UK retailers. Dane Lance, vice president of global marketing and sales at Sunsweet Growers, said: "UK buyers are taking advantage of oversupply and are buying cheaper and cheaper."