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Spain: Citrus production expected to drop and sales skyrocket
The sharp decline in the next mandarin and orange harvest in the Region of Valencia, estimated at about 27% compared to last season, according to the Valencian Farmers Association, is already having its first consequences for the growers. Given the need to guarantee the supply in good time, many traders are currently showing a slightly higher interest than usual (for this time of the year) to close trading operations with citrus growers, which is translating into advanced purchases, especially in the case of late orange varieties. There have also been generalised price increases, reaching 17% in some cases.
According to an AVA-ASAJA analysis based on data from the Citrus Prices Board of the Consulate of the Lonja de Valencia, prices have increased compared to the same period last year for the two most common varieties in Valencian citriculture: the Navelina (+17.5%) and the Clemenules (+10.7%). There are also increases in other varieties, such as the Okitsu (+14%), Owari (+10.2%), Marisol (+8.8%) or Loretina-Mioro (+6%).
The purchase of some varieties has had to be secured in advance to ensure a volume with which to be able to serve the large European distribution. This is the case of the Navel (maximum price of 0.294 €/kg), the Navel Lane Late (maximum of 0.306 €/kg) and the Clemenvilla (maximum of 0.306 €/kg).
The president of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, affirms that "the laws of supply and demand should govern any market that claims to be competitive, efficient and balanced. In this sense, it is logical that if a lower production is expected, the campaign will have a livelier start, with increases in the prices at origin. Our harvest forecast, while not an official estimate, cannot really be misguided when things are developing as they are doing. However, it is still early to get too enthusiastic, because even though the prices are higher, in many cases they will not compensate in any way for the general decline in revenue that Valencia's producers will suffer because of the lower harvest volume."
Aguado laments how "some commercial operators have already given up defending a fair price in the market" and urges them to "work side-by-side with the producers to prevent them from being forced to abandon their crops due to a lack of profitability. We have to stand together, because we are all in the same boat."
As for the growers themselves, the agrarian leader has called for them to act with caution and study their options calmly when selling the fruit.
Publication date: 8/24/2017
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