Spain’s Citrus Management Committee (CGC) calls on the Spanish Ministry of Public Works to take urgent steps to facilitate passage through La Jonquera and Irún, after being closed by the Civil Guard as a result of the French “Yellow Vests” protests. The CGC also demands a guaranteed safe corridor for perishable products. The successive blockades that have taken place in recent weeks on the border between Spain and France have substantially affected the vital St Nicholas period.
Spanish citrus campaign threatened by French protests
Spain’s citrus sector calls for protests at low prices and unfair competition
Cold weather across Europe raises demand for citrus
The Spanish citrus campaign has got off to a difficult start, with large availability of Southern Hemisphere clementines and heavy rainfall. However, the arrival of the cold weather across much of Europe is triggering a recovery in demand, which producers hope will endure. Demand for Spanish lemons is expected to take off around Christmas, starting with the Primofiori campaign, where there is currently a predominance of small calibres. Spain also faces stiff competition from Turkey, although Turkish exporters have also faced a tough start to the season.
Chile sets new record for citrus exports
Chile’s citrus sector recorded a massive 32% increase in exports in 2018, reaching 358,600 tons. President of the Chilean Citrus Committee, Juan Enrique Ortúzar, said, “It was a season of great contrasts, with a market rarely seen for lemons, but complicated for oranges and for the first time, a market with sufficient supply of mandarins.” Around 87% of Chile’s citrus exports head for the US, with 7% sent to the Far East and 3% to Europe. Mandarins (30%) represent the largest export category, followed by oranges (28%), lemons (25%) and clementines (17%).
Chinese importers begin to recognise Valencian Citrus
Argentina’s citrus industry aims to increase competitiveness
Argentina’s citrus sector have met members of the country’s government at the Citizcola Competitiveness Roundtable to discuss competitiveness and ways to open new markets. The Phytosanitary Association of the Argentine Northwest (Afinoa) signed agreements with the National Fund of Agriculture (Fondagro) and the National Service of Health and Agri-Food Quality (Senasa).
Go Citrus aims to combat mandarin fraud
The first mandarin sales between farmers and businesses indicate that prices are somewhat lower than last year. In recent times, there has been an increase in cases of fraud and varietal piracy, which has led several large companies to develop a tool to identify the different varieties with precision using molecular markers. The project, called Go Citrus, includes the participation of the Professional Association of Fruit Exporters (Asociex), Anecoop and Eurosemillas, Cañamás Hermanos, Martinavarro, Génesis Innovation Group and the Institut Valencià d'Investigacions Agràries.
Spanish citrus exports hold up despite lower production
Despite 7% lower production (6.7 million tons), Spanish citrus exports only contracted by 2.4% (to 3.6 million tons) in 2017/18, according to the Citrus Management Committee (CGC). The CGC attributed the abnormally low production of the 2017/18 season to the “natural alternation of the crop” and “the weather conditions in Valencia”. However, the prospects for the 2018/19 season are for a return to "a normal volume of production."
Egyptian citrus sector reaps the benefits of large-scale public investments
Egypt has invested heavily in its citrus sector over the past decade, with improved road and port infrastructure that allow large movements of fresh produce by sea. Costly irrigation networks have been built, along with some of the world’s largest desalination plants, with others in the pipeline. All of this has allowed citrus farming to make great strides. Whereas twelve years ago 32,000 hectares were grown, the country now has 122,000 hectares of freshly planted citrus groves.
Fall in value of Chile’s lemon exports
Despite improving prices in the US market in recent weeks, the value of Chilean lemon exports in the first half of 2018 was significantly lower than the previous year. Figures from the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies of Chile (Odepa) show that from January to June export volumes of Chilean lemons were 13% lower in 2017 (17,200 tons), while the total FOB value of the period was US$20.9 million, that is, 36% less. This equates to an average value per kilo during this year of US$1.2, in contrast with last year’s US$1.7.