Drought and extreme weather conditions have had a notable impact on this year's citrus production forecasts, especially for oranges and mandarins. According to the estimate from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, a low citrus production is expected, similar to last year's, but with a recovery in the lemon volumes and a greater reduction in the case of oranges.
One of the consequences of the heat and lack of rainfall in summer is a slight reduction in the sizes of the earliest varieties, as is the case of the Clemen Rubí.
"This clementine variety is usually somewhat smaller than other varieties, and that has been even more the case this year. In fact, we decided not to market it and wait until the first Oronules in early October," says Abel Alarcón, manager of Brio Fruits.
"This year there will be a predominance of small and medium sizes. We hope that the rains of the last few weeks will help increase the size of the mid-season varieties," he said.
"We foresee that the mandarin and clementine campaign will be similar, since the volumes in the first part of the campaign have been similar or even lower, while in the second part we expect to harvest more fruit," said the producer and exporter. "At the moment, the prices paid at origin for the fruit are higher compared to those of the beginning of last season."
As far as oranges are concerned, the production is expected to drop by almost 10% compared to last season, when it was already low, mainly due to the impact of the drought in Andalusia. "The drop in the volume of Navelinas is going to be noticeable, and moreover, there are many consignments with more elongated fruit due to the impact of the extreme weather during the flowering. This will further reduce the percentage of commercial quality fruit, which will probably be more expensive," said Abel Alarcón.
At the moment, and until the domestic harvest begins, Brio Fruits is marketing off-season fruit. "We have imported Orri mandarins from Peru, but the demand is not extraordinary, since this is a month when there is still not much citrus consumption. However, although slowly, the market is absorbing all the lots we receive. We have already finished the stone fruit campaign and we will soon finish the watermelon campaign."
Brio Fruits will be exhibiting again this year at the Fruit Attraction international fair, which is holding its 15th edition. The Valencian company will welcome visitors in Hall 3, stand 3D20D.