Thanks to their healthy reputation, the sales of oranges were excellent during lockdown. In parallel, the production of the Valencia Late variety was weak this year. Therefore, Spanish producers increased their prices to a very high level. Today, the high prices are causing problems on the market, according to Xavier Rosario of Louis Rosario Sarl, a company specialized in the import of Spanish products.
“As soon as the lockdown was lifted, oranges did not sell anymore. Usually, the Valencia Late variety is very popular for juice machines, but there is not much tourism yet and restaurants are not working as much as usual. As a result, the demand is very low for this variety. We are left with very expensive volumes and prices do not correspond at all to the low consumption. The market is really out of balance.”
Xavier adds that Spanish farmers tend to forget that there is now also competition from Morocco. “The Valencia Late costs 1.80 € [2.03 USD] per kilo. The current price for the Moroccan Latte is between 1 and 1.20 € [1.13 and 1.36 USD]. The difference is too big.”
As for the Spanish lemons, the situation is not more positive. “The demand being high during lockdown, prices kept going up and the lemons sold well until the arrival of the first Argentinian lemons in Europe. Those are a lot less expensive, so consumers turned to this origin, leaving aside the Spanish lemons.”
Louis Rosario also offers flat Spanish peaches. “We had a good start of the season in terms of sales, but for the past 10 days, sales have gone down. This may be due to the competition with other products, like the French peach, which is very popular on the French market. Besides, consumption is quite low for all fruits. We feel the lack of tourism.”
As for all stone fruits, the volumes of flat peaches are limited this year. “We never know if we will have merchandise for the next week. We see it day by day. The flat peaches are also lacking homogeneity in color compared to previous years. This problem affects more than half the volumes. They are less expensive than the colored peaches. Depending on the variety, there is also a lack of large calibers.”