The president of the Port Authority of Castellón, Francisco Toledo, has confirmed that the port's traditional Clemenules exports to the US have been suspended this year due to the imposition of tariffs of up to 25% on the entry of goods from the European Union into the US market. "As a result of this, the entire campaign has been suspended, which is unfortunate, since Castellón was the main export port for the shipment of oranges to the United States."
This in turn entails a halt in the activity of the Fricasa cold store, "whose role was to keep the oranges at the right temperature for them to meet the export protocols," said Toledo.
In any case, the cancellation of shipments is likely to have more of an impact on the port area than on the provincial citrus sector, which had already reduced the volume of exports to this country in recent years.
Far behind are the years in which Castellón's citrus companies obtained strong returns in this market. The highest level was reached in 2000, when they obtained 57 million Euro from their shipments. The turning point came in 2013, when after years of the turnover never falling below 30 million, a falling trend started which culminated with Clemenules sales to the US generating just 8.6 million.
This decline is largely a result of the massive presence of Moroccan citrus fruits, which have been displacing those from Castellón because of their lower price. This, together with the consolidation of citrus production in California, means that there is less and less room for Castellon's fruit.
In fact, even before Trump decided to impose these tariffs, companies had already started focusing their promotional work on Canada. Last year, this country surpassed the United States as the main destination outside Europe for Castellón's citrus.