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Spain faces strong competition from Greece, Egypt, Turkey, and Morocco
"High prices in the fields complicate citrus sales"
Export sales in the current orange campaign are complicated because of the high prices in the field and the incursion into the international market of oranges from other countries, such as Greece, Egypt or Turkey, that have much lower prices at destination than the Spanish orange. Iñaki Quirante, the manager of Citricos Cox, a company from Alicante, stated:
"Selling oranges is proving very difficult. We can't offer sales prices that are as low as those of our competitors because prices in the field are very high due to a drop in yields and high production costs. These countries sell their product at a price that is equal to our production and packaging costs. Thus, we have very little profit margin and it is impossible for us to compete in European markets."
In recent years, orange production is showing a downward trend in favor of other citrus fruits such as mandarin or clementine, however, Quirante said, this not the case of his company. "We continue to bet on oranges with crops that cover all varieties of this fruit, so we have our own production from October to June."
Meanwhile, this year's lemon harvest will have very small calibers because of the drought affecting the Spanish Mediterranean coast. "We have managed to continue irrigating the trees so that we don't lose the harvest, but we don't have enough water to achieve good sizes. Despite this, Spain continues to lead the European lemon market. We are facing a slow campaign in all citrus fruits in general, with very high prices in the fields but very low prices in the markets," Quirante said.
Supplying any type of citrus to customers
The company produces all the citrus fruits that are produced in Alicante, from oranges, clementines, and tangerines, to lemons, grapefruits, and limes. In total they move around 15 million kilos of citrus fruits per year, under the La Caseta, 223, and Quimar brands, which they mainly market in the European markets and, to a lesser extent, in the national market. "We haven't considered exporting to overseas countries, such as China, because it's very complicated to comply with their protocols and because it would be very difficult for the fruit to reach the destination in a good condition, as it has to travel with very cold treatments," Quirante stated.
In addition, they are also including new varieties of lemon, such as the Pink Lemon, which is a lemon with a pink pulp, and the Summer Prim variety, which is a mutation of the Fine lemon but with a harvest calendar that goes from February to June. "This way we expand our variety of products for our customers and we can continue to grow little by little, as in the case of our Lime production, where we want to grow slowly because it has a very short harvest time, from August to October. We are working so that we can offer any type of citrus or the full range of citrus to all our clients."
For more information:Iñaqui Quirantes
T: + 34 965 36 10 00
Publication date: 2/2/2018
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