The grapefruit season is already well underway in Spain, where the harvest is expected to be completed by mid to late April. As we are also seeing with other citrus fruits, the demand is slow, since this product depends even more on sales to the horeca channel.
"While the situation is not as difficult for grapefruits as it is for lemons, sales have been slow, although stable," says María Dolores Pelegrín, manager of the Murcian company Apemar.
"School canteens are closed, the demand from the catering and hospitality industry is very limited and, therefore, there are far fewer buyers. Grapefruit is often consumed in juices and in hotel breakfasts, and since the pandemic broke out, the demand has dropped considerably. However, sales are going better at supermarkets," he says.
Prices in the field have remained relatively acceptable, at an average of between 0.25 and 0.28 Euro per kilo, with some more expensive batches. It should be recalled that the harvest has been reduced by between 10 and 15% this year.
The downward trend in the supply in the European market affects all origins in the northern hemisphere, and particularly Israel. Spain will finish harvesting in about a month's time and Turkey and Egypt are expected to stop even earlier.
"The grapefruit season is normally extended until May in order to tie in with the first batches from the southern hemisphere. We are confident that, for the remainder of the season in Spain, we will be increasingly alone in the European markets as the volumes from other countries become scarcer. We are already starting to receive more orders from destinations to which we already export; a symptom that the supply is beginning to dwindle. Besides, when spring arrives and the weather improves, sales usually reactivate," says María Dolores Pelegrín.
Regarding Florida and Texas grapefruits, after the change of the presidency in the US, the 25% increase in tariffs was lifted; however, this decision came too late in the campaign to make a significant difference, according to information from Ailimpo.