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"Prices of transport per container create new opportunities for oranges"
The orange campaign is developing quickly given the lower volumes available this year and the good ripening of the fruit. Although sales started slowly, the market is expected to improve with the arrival of the Navel and Navel Late while the clementine volumes gradually fall.
According to Vicent Aguado, manager of Exportaciones Aguado, "The second part of the orange campaign is usually better than the beginning, both in terms of quality and in terms of demand and prices. Normally, between December and January, large volumes of clementines are available at a very good price, which reduces the demand for oranges. With the arrival of late mandarin varieties, with significantly higher prices, the demand is adjusted and that is when oranges play a more important role."
Three years ago, this Valencian company managed by the Aguado brothers moved its orange packing warehouse from the Vall d'Uixó to Picassent. These are more modern facilities with a greater capacity and have allowed them to offer a better service, handling between 18 and 20 million kilos. Of this volume, approximately 20% is self-produced. Specifically, they have gone from 2,800 to 7,000 square metres with the new plant, and there is still room to grow by around 30% more.
Exportaciones Aguado is specialised in the marketing of oranges grown in Spain's main producing regions, depending on how the harvest goes in each area each season.
"We start with the Navelinas. We then continue with the Navel and Navel Late oranges and then finish in July with the Valencia," explains Vicent Aguado. This year we have carried out tests with the new extra early orange variety M7, which was intended to arrive before the Navelina with a higher quality, because before October the oranges don't yet have enough colour and sweetness for the market. We consider it an interesting variety; however, at the moment we are not completely satisfied with the results, since the size has not been as expected and it has suffered many defects in the skin. Maybe it's because it's a new variety and producer still have to learn how to grow and handle it. In any case, we are very satisfied with the quality of the later varieties, such as the Navel Powel and Lane Late, as well as with the calibre of the Midknight Valencia. They are increasingly popular varieties."
From left to right: Vicente Aguado, Willem Dijk and Daniel Aguado
Exportaciones Aguado has been focusing most of its efforts on the Elefant brand since it was created 20 years ago. Around 80% of the sales of this company correspond to exports, mainly to France, but also to the countries of the Benelux, where the Dutch importer Willem Dijk is its exclusive distributor. To a lesser extent, they also ship to the United Kingdom and Germany in Europe, and Asia and Latin America are becoming more interesting due to the reduction in the prices of maritime transport.
Willem Dijk promotes the Elefant brand in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg with a large red elephant
Transportation prices per container are much more affordable than before, which opens up new business opportunities. "We resort to containerised exports to China and Malaysia, as well as to Central and South America, with destinations such as Brazil. Consumption in Asia is growing, as its purchasing power continues to improve, and the continent has become a good alternative to decongest the European market at certain times of the campaign. They are brand-oriented and pay good prices for the product if the quality is good. Regarding the countries of Latin America, we have noticed a rise in the demand given the lower supply from Brazil and Florida in recent years due to the impact of the greening disease. In fact, the United States is also demanding more and more oranges," says Vicent Aguado.
One of the biggest concerns for the Aguado brothers ahead of the coming years is the lack of water. "This summer, the acreage devoted to the cultivation of melons and watermelons is expected to fall due to water scarcity, and this will certainly also affect citrus, although it is still premature to know to what extent."
At the same time, there is growing competition from the citrus fruits from Egypt, Turkey and Greece. "Egypt and Turkey are significantly increasing their exports, and their volumes are putting more and more pressure on us in the second part of the campaign. They are gaining more and more ground in Eastern Europe and in Russia, since Spain lost access to this market.
FreshPlaza had the chance to enjoy a freshly squeezed Elefant orange juice
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