The South African citrus season is almost over. For, particularly oranges, it was a memorable one. "The market was never overloaded. Throughout the season, there was more demand than supply. Never in my career have I seen such high prices all season long," says Tjeerd Hoekstra of Total Produce in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
"The European market wasn't an immediate priority in recent years. But, compared to other continents, it fared well. The corona crisis-induced run on health eating certainly helped. I think the good demand will probably continue until the end of the season. We're still getting shipments this and next week. And then the season in southern Africa is over. It was a fairly short but intense season."
The market for South African lemons was satisfactory too. However, according to Tjeerd, it wasn't as good as initially anticipated. "Expectations were high when keeping recent years in mind. In terms of quality, it wasn't an easy lemon season. But, supplies were good, and prices respectable. Its cultivation certainly paid off. The South African Rand's low value also definitely, contributed."
"This year's mandarin season was difficult. The Spanish season has now started, with the first Satsumas, again. There was generally a large supply in the summer. And consumption is always lower when the schools are closed. Farmers have planted many mandarin trees, especially Nadorcotts. But also other varieties. Everyone knows that that'll be reflected in prices at some point. Last, but not least - grapefruit had a good season. It started at a reasonably high level. It then stabilized to a level with which everyone was satisfied," concludes Tjeerd.