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Francis van Overstraeten of De Roeck & Zonen on the Spanish season:

"Small sizes of oranges may cause problems"

The citrus season is having more difficulty getting going than in other years. According to Francis van Overstraeten of De Roeck & Zonen there is still quite a lot of volume from overseas on the market and the citrus from Spain is only trickling in. "We've been out of Belgium for a few days. Last week it was all Saints Day and next week, Monday the 11th is a holiday here too. So it's always calm in those weeks. There's always a bit of a holiday atmosphere."

Too warm in Spain
Francis indicates that they have to wait and see what will happen. "We're not getting huge volumes of Clementines in yet. It's all coming in small amounts because the products aren't colouring enough. This is due to too high temperatures in Spain. The oranges are also just trickling in. We still have production from overseas, especially pressing oranges. The season is late compared to last year."

"The prices are reasonably correct. So when we're talking about Spanish Clementines, it's between 9 and 15 Euro per 10 kilo box. The Spanish hand oranges are making a Euro per kilo at the moment. This is for the best products, even though they're a bit sour at the moment. We have to wait and see when more citrus from Spain will arrive. There are a lot of small sizes of oranges this season, which is a bit of a problem. Everyone wants the big sizes 2/3 but there is a lot of 5/6 or smaller. There just aren't a lot of large sizes expected with the first varieties. This will be a problem. I don't think the small sizes will go for much."

Opening registers
There isn't a lot of competition from other European countries in the area of citrus. "Morocco is mainly on the market in Holland. The first Clementines are in there and are making around 90 cents to 1 Euro. We're not bothered by that as much in Belgium. The Clementines from Morocco are without leaves. They don't want that here." The trader expects the citrus season to really get going after the 11th of November. "Then we'll really open the registers and if I'm right, there will be enough supply and demand."

For more information:
Francis van Overstraeten
De Roeck & Zonen
E.C. Werkhuizenkaai 112-154
1000 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 2426220
Fax: +32 (0) 2 2159959
Mobiel: +32-479559366

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