The 2018/19 citrus campaign in the Spanish region of Andalusia has closed on a bad note, with average prices falling by 23% and a drop in the demand in the markets, according to the Campaign Report made by the Prices and Markets Observatory of the Council of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. This also highlights the impact on the crop's biotic development and the increase in production costs such as power, fuel and labor.
Although there has been a greater production due to the absence of extreme weather incidents during the development of the crop's biological cycle, the delay in the start of the campaign in some production areas (of up to three weeks) led to an overlap in the production and sale of the different citrus varieties.
With regard to the marketing of Andalusian citrus fruits, prices have fallen in all cases during the 2018/19 campaign; by 15% in the case of oranges, 25% in the case of lemons and 29% in the case of mandarins.
In general, according to the report, the campaign has been marked by "a slow and staggered pace" in the harvest, mostly as a result of the low prices, which has also led to the work in the central handling and packaging plants being slower than in previous campaigns. Other aspects that have taken a toll on the fruit's marketing have been the entry into the market of fruit with a low ripening index, the concentration of the domestic supply, the increase in harvesting costs or the difficulties in finding laborers for the field.
Other external circumstances that have also had an impact on the development of the campaign have been the presence in the market of more competitively-priced fruit from other producing countries, the logistical problems in France, or the lack of low temperatures, which are so much associated with the consumption of this type of fruit.
Source: Efe / lavanguardia.com