The overall production volume of Valencian clementines, mandarins and oranges is around 35% lower than last year. At the same time, the production in other Mediterranean countries, such as Italy or Morocco, is also lower, so sales have been limited and under pressure by a high demand. "Fortunately, we have been able to supply all our customers, so that they can continue selling our brand in the markets, although it has been impossible to provide the quantities they requested," says José Peiró, of the commercial department of the Valencian company Escrig Gourmet.
José Peiró at the stand of Escrig Gourmet, at the recent edition of Fruit Logistica 2020, in Berlin.
The second campaign was looking better in terms of volume, although following the Christmas holidays, a storm with abundant rainfall and high winds caused a lot of fruit to fall to the ground and there were some losses of fruit in storage due to moisture issues. “The losses have been greater in the field than in the warehouse. In our case, we were well-prepared and had harvested the fruit that was already ripe before the storm arrived, so the losses in storage have been very low.”
The demand for mandarins remains strong, especially in the countries of northern Europe. The low supply from other competing countries is having a remarkable impact, according to the exporter. “Moroccan mandarins tend to dominate the markets of northern European countries, but this year there has been a shortage and we are noticing a significantly higher demand at this time to fill these gaps. The same goes for the Orri mandarins of Israel, of which there is a smaller volume available and irregularity in the quality of the batches, so we are receiving more calls. Given the shortage of Nadorcott mandarins, we are shipping more Tango to countries like the Netherlands.”
Escrig Gourmet's export destinations are mostly in Europe, although it also ships overseas, to countries like China, where they have been exporting oranges for about 6 years. However, this year, due to the influence of the coronavirus in this market, they have not yet made any shipments. “Purchases have pretty much come to a halt in China due to the protocols to control the coronavirus. Customers in China have told us that they cannot even leave their homes, so, until the situation in this country goes back to normal, we will not ship," says José Peiró.