The Spanish citrus sector has been experiencing a miserable season so far, with low prices and issues with transportation due to French protests leading to an appeal by its representative bodies for assistance. Now, the sector has been dealt a further blow, with the publication of the latest export data, which report a 14% the drop in exports tons outside the EU up to the end of November compared to the same period of last year, with volumes totalling 48,400 tons. Shipments to Canada have increased thanks to a new trade agreement between the EU and the North American country, which has now become the biggest market beyond the EU, with shipments up 26.7% to around 16,000 tons, as of the last week of November. However, this growth has failed to offset the falls in exports to Switzerland and Norway. Meanwhile, exports to the US have halved. A main cause of Spain’s woes is the stiff competition from Morocco.
La Unio estimates the losses suffered by the citrus sector of the province of Castellón at €34 million, due largely to an “anomalous” market situation, i.e. the presence of huge volumes of fruit from third countries, such as South Africa, on the European market. The rest is attributed to weather events in October. Thousands of tons of mandarins are reported to have remained in the trees as a result of prices dropping by up to 23%.