The orange campaign officially started in the Spanish Region of Valencia just over 15 days ago, although the earliest varieties have been harvested since the beginning of September. This season, the fruit's quality appears to be optimal and the sizes are greater; however, the orange production has fallen by up to 40% in the main Valencian regions.
According to Vicent Faro, of the managing board of AVA-Asaja, the Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers, the rainfall recorded last spring has been the cause of this decline. "There was a lot of rainfall during the months of the first state of alarm, before the summer, and that caused a lot of orange blossom to rot and not set," he said. However, this excess of water has also allowed the fruit that is now being harvested to reach larger calibers than in previous seasons and become more marketable.
The head of AVA said that, in addition to the domestic market, these first varieties are also being sold outside of Spain due to the demand in the European markets. As for prices, they are better than last season. "They oscillate between 4 and 4.5 Euro per arroba. This means that producers can cover their costs," he said.
In these first months of the campaign, mandarin varieties such as the Oronules or Marisol are being harvested. "The fruit's sizes are good and this is resulting in good sales."
Work is already underway in regions such as La Safor, La Ribera, La Costera or l'Horta Nord, said Faro, who added that "the harvest of the Clemenules, a highly appreciated variety from the province of Castellón, will kick off in just a few days."