Hoping to get into Europe

Uruguay: citrus industry benefits from agreement with US

The heavy rains recorded in recent months have had a major impact on the Uruguayan citrus production. The weather conditions may have actually caused the loss of 40% of the Satsuma mandarin production. "In April, more than 650 mm of rain were recorded, which is almost half of what it usually rains in the whole year in Uruguay. Our Satsumas were the most affected, and while all the fruit could be used, nearly half of the production could not be exported. Fortunately, other varieties have not been affected yet," states Ian McCulloch, commercial manager of URUD'OR SA Uruguayan Citrus Growers.

At the moment, the harvest is halfway done and will continue until late October, and although it didn't start well because of the climate changes, the situation is now improving and we have favourable expectations. "Fortunately, the demand is much higher than expected in the United States, Europe and Russia. Our focus is on the United States, as for some years we have had a free trade agreement with this market, which gives an advantage compared with competitors such as Argentina," affirms McCulloch.

"In the European market, we cannot compete in the mandarin market against countries such as Peru, Chile and South Africa, because although Uruguay is an established producer and exporter of citrus fruits, we don't have favourable access conditions to the European market. Uruguay pays an export tariff of 16% to ship to these destinations, while the countries mentioned above do not pay any tariffs. This makes our costs higher and, therefore, we cannot be competitive in terms of price. At present, the Mercosur is negotiating agreements that should allow us to compete under the same conditions," concluded the spokesperson.

For more information:
Ian McCulloch
Urud'or SA Uruguayan Citrus Growers
T: +598 99626615
E: ian@urudor.com.uy

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