The 2020/21 citrus season started in October for mandarins and in November for oranges (which were a bit late), with very positive expectations in terms of marketing. Producers and buyers in Andalusia have closed many contracts since the beginning of the campaign to ensure part of the production, as demand was expected to grow after the increase in consumption seen at the end of last season. In addition, everything seemed to indicate that prices would be higher and would remain more or less stable.
In fact, that's what happened in November and December. According to data from the Price Observatory of the Junta de Andalucia, the prices of Salustiana oranges ranged from € 0.26 to € 0.29/kg, Navelina orange prices ranged from € 0.22 to € 0.25/kg, and the price of the Late variety at origin rose up to € 0.38/kg.
However, the drop in temperatures in recent weeks and the impact of the storm Filomena have caused things to change. The snow in Andalusia only affected the highest regions of mountain and mountain areas, but the cold seriously affected many agricultural productions. The morning frosts have caused many citrus fruits to suffer from dehydration and burns which, in some farms, can lead to a loss of up to 50% of the fruit, depending on the area.
A part of the operators that had already closed sales agreements with farmers is using this event to back down and drop the prices they had planned to pay.
Thus, the price at origin for the Salustiana variety has dropped to €0.18/kg. The Navelina has dropped to € 0.16/kg. The price of the Late variety has decreased to € 0.28/kg and the oranges for juice have gone from € 0.18 to € 0.12/kg.
According to UPA Andalusia, this is an unjustified decrease. The decrease in production in a market that has a stable consumption should lead to a rise in prices, and not the other way around. There are no objective reasons for citrus prices to plummet, they stated. The administration must enforce the Food Chain Law so that contract prices are respected and quotes cover production costs, they added.