The extra-early mandarin campaign has already started in the province of Huelva. The price of the fruit, which is selling well in both national and international markets, ranges between 75 and 90 cents / kilo; "an acceptable price in terms of profitability," according to the president of the Association of Citrus growers of Huelva, Lorenzo Reyes.
The province, the largest producer in Andalusia, initially estimated the production at 321,325 tons; 12% more than in the previous season, although citrus growers believe that the production won't reach these figures. Antonio Arjona, manager of the company Cítricos Reunidos, says that the production is actually expected to fall "by around 30% or 35% at the very least. We could even reach 40%."
Arjona says that, so far, there has been high market demand for good quality fruit at the start of the season. The trees are full of good-sized fruit, but the production is low. This is due to events that took place months ago. "The weather conditions were unusual in the spring, with hot spells that caused great damage" and significant losses, depending on the variety or the plant's vegetative period.
Huelva's mandarin harvest started in mid-September with extra-early varieties such as the Oskorri; however, the campaign itself starts with the clementines, which are the most common among the area's extra-early varieties. Therefore, the bulk of the production arrived at the end of September. The sale of Orogrós and Oronules mandarins has also started. The harvest will continue well into the spring.