The orange campaign in the Spanish province of Castellon is starting with good prices and adequate production volumes, as well as with the prospect that competition from other countries, especially South Africa, won't be as strong.
Despite the fact that the citrus seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres take place in different months, towards the beginning and the end of them, in October and May, they overlap, sometimes for too long. However, the increase in the global demand for oranges driven by the spread of the coronavirus (at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it grew by over 20% in Europe) has resulted in the stocks in South Africa and other countries being depleted, so their marketing period will have to be cut shorter.
Sources from the sector consulted by the newspaper "El Periódico Mediterráneo" say that South African mandarins have stopped arriving in Castellon on October 15, when in previous years "they have continued to be present until mid-November."
In the current scenario, the shelves will have to be filled with products from Castellon. "This campaign, the northern hemisphere will dominate the northern hemisphere market, unlike in other years," they say.
The general secretary of the Unió de Llauradors, Carles Peris, agrees with the forecast. "This year, our competitors have sold more than ever in the summer. Besides South Africa, other countries such as Chile or Peru also have depleted stocks," he says. "Our campaign hadn't had such a good start for years, with good prices at origin, but also at destination, which is allowing traders to make a profit, too. The market is livelier than ever."
For his part, the secretary general of Asociex, Enrique Ribes, has said that this year, competing countries "have sold more to the United States;" a country that has become inaccessible for Castellon's producers due to the tariffs imposed by Donald Trump.