The cork oak forests of Catalonia that are in production they will give this 2020 about 4,000 tons of cork as foreseen by the Forestry Consortium of Catalonia. This is a slightly higher figure than the previous year.
The price of yeast cork, the majority of which will be used to make caps, is expected to be lower than in recent years due to the decline in demand from the wine sector following the socio-economic crisis caused by covid-19, which during in recent months has caused the drop of 35% in production and 50% of sales in the wine sector throughout Europe.
As for the climate, this year there have been good conditions that favor the peel. The rains of this spring combined with the humidity will facilitate the extraction of the cork from the oak and favor the extension of the extraction campaign, which has started late in June in anticipation of the heat.
Action to neutralize the hairy cork caterpillar
This spring one started new aerial treatments campaign by the Generalitat's Department of Agriculture to reduce the intensity and extent of the plague Lymantria dispar, which critically affects the growth of oak and cork trees, limits the possibility of peeling the affected corks and reduces the quality of the cork that can be extracted from them in the future.
It is estimated that in 2019 this caterpillar reduced cork production by 25% and caused more than two million euros of damage to the entire Catalan cork chain and in other forestry operations.
It is predicted that the plague may generate job opportunity losses for each year of delay in peeling and that this year it may have a significant impact in relation to the amount of extracted cork, which will possibly be mitigated by the extension of the peeling campaign .