Valencia still is the main area of citrus production in Spain, although many acres have been lost, especially in Castellón. Also, Andalusia continues to grow on the surface and produces more than ever.
Speaking of quality, this year citrus have been delayed due to the heat, but as of next week the fruit will be more ripe. Satsumas have very good quality, but in the coming days will have more flavor and sugar. "We hope it does not rain, as it can disrupt the cut," explains Jose Luis Koninkx, an export agent.
Rumours say that 15% less clementines are expected, although according to Koninkx, "that does not mean there will be a lack of products, but it will be the Marisol variety, since crops have been removed and replaced and many varieties have changed."
The Clemenrubi variety has already started, and within days the Oronules will begin. Within 15 days the marisol and clemenules varieties will start. These are the most important, which will last until the end of December, "always dependent the rain," adds Koninkx.
Spain's main competitor for Clementines is Morocco, whose prices are not competitive because labour is inexpensive. Turkey competes in Satsumas, although they come later in the season, this country's presence is noticed in the market. Egypt only offers competition in oranges.
As for logistics, mainly there are two problems: high costs and lack of returns.
"The problem with transportation is that, in addition to the crisis and fewer trucks, there are no returns. Trucks from Murcia, Andalusia or Valencia go up to Holland or Germany and sometimes have to return empty or wait a few days to load. As there is oversupply of trucks, the returns are very cheap, and therefore it make more expensive transport to Germany, Holland and Belgium."