The size of the final crop will be dependent on weather conditions between now and the end of March.
However, the USDA said it would grow from 290,000 tonnes in the 2003/2004 season to 305,000 tonnes this time round. Exports are expected to account for 189,000 tonnes of this.
Strawberries are grown on 8,000 hectares of strawberry plantings in Spain, of which the majority are in and around Huelva. Production has been relatively stable in this region, but there have been significant changes in varietal patterns.
Until two years ago, the Camerosa variety represented almost the entire crop, due to its rich colour and long shelf life.
However, it is now under pressure from newer varieties such as Chifon, San Miguel and Candonga, which together account for about one third of the crop.