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Argentina faces a historic contraction of citrus fruits in the domestic market

Corrientes' citrus sector ran out of fruit in January and has been unable to calculate total losses, stated Nicolas Carlino, a counselor of Coninagro. Carlino has already submitted a report on the situation to the Government of the Province and alerted national legislators of the need to promote, as soon as possible, measures adjusted to the magnitude of this crisis.

Citrus plantations have been affected by permanent water stress for three years, he stated. "The worst part about this lack of water is that its happening right now, while the fruit is growing, in the middle of summer, when the crops should be bearing fruit."

There's a very low flowering and the fruits are extremely small, as minister Claudio Anselmo had already stated. “The fruit is small. That is a quality problem that complicates marketing it. It's almost impossible for us to sell it in the domestic market,” he stated.

According to Carlino, it's a catastrophic scenario. "There is no big fruit and no financing," he said. There won't be large volumes in the market because of the quality issues and the shortage of products has led to an increase in prices throughout the country, which will lead to fewer customers and, possibly, fewer plantations in the medium term, he stated.

"All producers are currently in debt, either to some financial entity, some supplier of inputs, or because they've already used the reserves they had for some emergency," Carlino said. Producers currently have no funding at all and are facing a horrible scenario as the sector needs 50 millimeters of rain per week for six months to have a good water reserve and stabilize soil production.



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