The manager of the Association of Citrus Producers of Peru (ProCitrus), Sergio del Castillo Valderrama, said that Peru still had many areas that grow mandarins with seeds. These areas are in the hands of small and medium producers who must replace these varieties and bet on seedless varieties such as the W. Murcott.
Del Castillo Valderrama also said that there were 18,000 hectares of mandarin in the country.
Of this total, he said, 8,500 hectares are in the hands of companies associated with ProCitrus and the remaining 9,500 mostly belong to small and medium producers. Of the first group, 95% of the fruits are destined for export and only 5% goes to the local market, he added.
"The producers of our guild that continue to grow mandarins with seeds do it because there was still a niche market in Peru that paid a good price for the product (which was similar to the export price). However, a decrease in local prices will incentivize producers to change to seedless varieties that they can export," he said.
Sergio del Castillo said this varietal replacement would increase Peru's mandarin exportable supply.
"The citrus growth in the areas where they are grown will continue to be 1 to 1.5% per year, unless new irrigable areas of importance are implemented," he said.
Mandarin export volume was affected by the weather
The manager of ProCitrus also said that this campaign, mandarin shipments grew by 8% over 2017. However, he said, the union expected to reach a double-digit increase.
"Initially we had planned to grow by up to 15%, but the exportable percentage (packout) wasn't as good as we expected. We had some physiological disorders due to climate issues that caused acidity to fall and skin quality problems. This led to a decrease in exports and caused a greater pressure in the local market, as there was more fruit left here, and a significant decrease in the prices in the local market," he said.