The high demand for citrus fruits worldwide and the increasingly lower supply of oranges and mandarins from the southern hemisphere are causing prices to rise, motivating some to rush the start of the harvest in Spain.
South African oranges are currently sold to European wholesalers for over 1.20 Euro per kilo. In some cases, they reach up to 1.5 Euro. South African exporters, who even say they have had their best season, regret having to finish several weeks earlier than expected because the demand has skyrocketed everywhere.
The producing countries of the southern hemisphere are all in a similar situation: a small supply, high prices and strong demand. Brazil, the world's leading producer of oranges and the main producer of industrial juice, has also broken sales records.
In the Spanish Region of Valencia, advance purchases have been made and some are in a bit of a rush to start harvesting the early varieties, although it is advisable to wait until the fruit is ripe to prevent unpleasant surprises.