Two weeks ago, the harvest and sale of the first Satsuma Okitsu and Clausellina mandarins started in Valencia, with slight delays and a huge problem with calibres, "which in 70 to 80% of cases are not large enough for their markets," explained Antonio López, manager of the company Cítricos Asunción López S.L., who blames the situation on this year's atypical weather.
"The truth is that, in other aspects, the fruit is of good quality, with high levels of sugar and a peel with the right colouring, but calibres have fallen short, as they are mostly smaller than 57. This makes their sale difficult in traditional markets like the Netherlands, Germany or the UK, and even Spain. For now, Eastern European countries accept the fruit, but at really low prices," he explains.
In a normal year, 70 to 80% of the mandarins would reach medium or large calibres, but this year things have changed and the market cannot absorb such amounts of small fruit."
"In the case of ClemenRubí clementines, which are about to be harvested, very high prices were paid for a fruit which now cannot be sold, with calibres smaller than 50. It is a disaster!" As for navelines, Antonio López warns that a very large production is expected, although they will experience the same problems with calibres.
In any case, Antonio López expects the Clemenules season, which is the most important clementine variety, to reach normal levels in terms of production volumes, quality and calibres.
Still plenty of imported produce left.
Another aspect that has a big impact on the market is the fact that citrus from the Southern Hemisphere are still available, as their campaign started with a two week delay and has consequently been prolonged. "This makes things even more difficult, as there is still a wide range of better quality citrus in the market."
"All that is left for us is waiting for temperatures to drop, as this week we have reached 37ºC during the day and 25ºC at night, which is very unusual for this time of the year, when it should be around 12ºC at night to prevent the fruit's peel from dehydrating," he concludes.
For more information:
David López: +34627542499
Antonio López: +34669478121CITRICOS ASUNCION LOPEZ S.L.U
La Barraca de Aguas Vivas, Valencia, Spain.