The president of Asaja Cítricos in Córdoba, Nicolás González, says that "it is necessary to stop the arrival of fruit from outside of Spain after the start of our campaign in October, since now it's already too late." He is referring to the words of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, who announced last week that the Government is considering asking the European Union (EU) to activate the safeguard clause in order to defend Spanish producers from the entry of South African oranges.
"The huge import of oranges, together with the fact that our crops have ripened later this year, has led to saturation of the market," stresses the agrarian leader, aware that the current citrus harvesting campaign is being quite challenging in the region of the Vega del Guadalquivir, where there are about 11,000 hectares in municipalities such as Hornachuelos, Palma del Río, Posadas and Fuente Palmera.
One of the most negative consequences of this scenario has been the sharp drop in prices at origin. According to data from the Chamber of Commerce, the price of the Navelina last week oscillated between 0.08 and 0.1 Euro per kilo, half of what was paid a year ago. As for the Salustiana, its value currently ranges between 0.16 and 0.18 Euro, 14 percent less than in January 2018.
"It doesn't make sense that prices have dropped so much in recent months," says González.