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Citrus season in Europe expected to be more competitive

The citrus export season is underway for the Turkish company Aksun, which started shipping lemons of the Enterdonato variety two weeks ago; a campaign that will last until February next year. Yigit Aslan, Junior Sales representative of the firm, says that “while we expect the lemon market to be very competitive, lemon and grapefruit production volumes will drop by around 10%.”

Regarding grapefruit, which is Aksun’s main product during winter, the campaign starts in October and lasts until May. “While it is true that grapefruit consumption is falling, we have the advantage of offering a distinctly better quality. We also use our own trucks for shipment and have easy access to the port,” affirms Mr Aslan.

In summer, the company focuses mostly on apricots. “In addition to Europe, we export to Asian destinations like Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia by air, where we ship mainly figs and apricots.”

Last year, the company managed to increase its grapefruit, pomegranate and fig export volumes to the Italian market. Mr Aslan states that “the advantage we have is not just in price, but also availability, as we can supply when there is no domestic production.”

As for the situation caused by the Russian embargo, Mr Aslan affirms that it is sure to have an impact on prices, as European citrus exporters like Spain will be left with fewer options, although Aksun “only works at the moment with some supermarkets in Russia.”

In any case, the biggest threat to Turkish exporters, according to Mr Aslan, is the large number of small firms that sell their fruit at very low prices, without taking actual market prices into account. “For example, in circumstances when they could be selling the fruit for 1.50 Euro per kilo, they only sell it for 0.90.”

Aksun offers a wide range of grapefruit varieties, including the Star Ruby, which is one of the most popular due to its attractive appearance. “We also offer the White Marsh, which has a light yellow flesh and reaches more expensive prices,” states Aksun’s Junior Sales representative.

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