Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber
Egyptian oranges and Moroccan mandarins exert significant pressure on Spanish exports

The orange campaign is already wrapped up; we hope that the mandarin season will pick up by mid-March

The Spanish citrus campaign has run into serious hurdles that have affected oranges and mandarins, as well as lemons and grapefruits. The conflict in the Red Sea has led to a surge in the presence of Egyptian oranges and Moroccan mandarins in the European and North American markets, displacing the Spanish production and causing prices to plummet.

"Initially, there was enthusiasm ahead of the start of the second part of the mandarin campaign, as the production was generally lower, but eventually there has been a great mismatch between expectations and results," says Sergio Orobal, director of Catman Fresh.

The company, based in the municipality of Pilar de la Horadada, in the Spanish province of Alicante, is mostly focused on exports, mainly to Europe. "We are facing an overwhelming supply of Egyptian oranges in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the Scandinavian countries... which is putting a lot of pressure on prices. Covering costs and paying the high purchase prices agreed with the producers is becoming challenging," says Sergio Orobal.

"We are seeing 15-kilo boxes of oranges, already packed, sold for 5 euros, which equals about 33 cents per kilo. We are constantly getting calls offering us Egyptian oranges, and the same is happening across the rest of Europe. While Egypt has been growing as an orange exporter for a few years and continues to gain ground, this year's increase is due to the conflict in the Red Sea, which has made it impossible for Egyptian exports to reach countries in the Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia."

"In the domestic market, there are more restrictions and Egyptian fruit hasn't been as present, but in Europe, sales have become much more difficult. There are no tariff barriers making Egyptian exports more expensive, and prices continue to drop every day. A few clients are sticking to their programs or agreements, but they are only a small part, as most buyers act based on prices. Even the Premium lines are starting to be affected. At least the processing industry has been paying acceptable prices for the oranges, which has helped give a commercial outlet to this year's many discards," says the director of Catman Fresh.

Regarding mandarins, there is also greater competition from Morocco in Europe, the United States and Canada due to the situation in the Red Sea. "Spanish exporters are not loading much because there is an oversupply of mandarins, as well as a large amount of small-sized fruit from Spain that is also not helping us boost sales," says Sergio Orobal.

However, it is also true that, due to the unusual heat this winter, the ripening has been delayed and there has been some overlap between different varieties. "For example, we have been marketing Clemenvilla until very recently, and although last year we started harvesting the Tango from mid-December, this year we started at the end of January. The orange campaign is already wrapped up, but we hope that the situation for mandarins will improve from mid-March, when Morocco's campaign will finish. We have fruit in storage that is in good condition," says Sergio Orobal.

"Fortunately, we have the capacity to offset this situation somewhat thanks to the diversification of our business into different lines. We can offer second-campaign mandarins like the Nadorcott, Queen or Leanri; clementines with leaf; Lane Late table oranges and Salustiana juicing oranges; untreated oranges; Cara Cara oranges; grapefruit... The sum of all these lines is allowing us to achieve good overall results," says the director of the company.

For more information:
Sergio Orobal
Catman Fresh
Camino de Iryda, s/n
03190 Pilar de la Horadada, Alicante. Spain
T: +34 966 747 902

Publication date: