The demand for Spanish clementines is picking up a few days after the San Nicolas celebrations in several countries in central and northern Europe, a time when these fruits are traditionally on the tables. Meanwhile, the demand for oranges is more stable and has fewer fluctuations.
According to sources in the Spanish sector, the citrus season is not meeting the expectations there were after the last season ended with higher demand than supply and high prices. "This summer, many businesses began to buy the product earlier than usual hoping that there would still be the high demand for citrus there was at the end of the previous season due to the COVID-19 effect," a Valencian marketer stated.
“In order to avoid running out of products, many exporters have paid high prices for fruit in the field, but the truth is the market has not responded as expected. It's true that we have a little more fruit than we had anticipated, but not enough for prices to be so low. It's been really difficult to introduce the fruit to the market at acceptable prices, according to what has been paid in the field," he said. “It's a complicated campaign. We should keep in mind that production and handling costs are higher as a result of the pandemic. We need more shifts than before to ensure that workers keep safe distances.”
At the moment, producers are mainly harvesting and marketing Clemenules. In addition, Clemenvilla is starting to become available. The Navelina predominates in oranges, and its supply is expected to last until the beginning of January.
Citrus prices are expected to improve in European markets by the end of January, as that is the moment the protected mandarins with a more limited supply enter the market and producers can export more oranges abroad. Next year, exporters won't face the serious complications to export they had to deal with this year because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, so shipments to third markets are expected to rebound and help balance the supply and demand in Europe. Spanish exporters, however, keep their eyes on Egypt's citrus, as its sales continue to expand throughout the world.