According to Asaja Alicante, the current citrus campaign in the province has started very conditioned by the end of the previous campaign, in which producers did not harvest almost 30% of the oranges due to the impossibility of harvesting them. market. “Today there is a general drop in citrus production from Alicante due to the difficult weather conditions in spring (the wettest spring recorded in the Valencian Community) which has affected the flowering season; the high summer temperatures and the delay in the fruit harvest caused by the market situation.”
“The Verna lemon variety was the most affected. In a normal campaign, growers harvest 100,000 tons of Verna lemons and in this campaign, the harvest will amount to 50,000, a 50% drop in production. Fino lemon production decreased by 15%. Lane Late and Powell oranges suffered crop losses of 30%, according to the agricultural organization.
“Due to poor planting and tree depletion, the campaign started with a historic production loss of one million tonnes nationally.” Despite this shortage, Asaja Alicante assures that there is a high demand.
“Since shipping became so expensive, European suppliers voluntarily pulled out of the market in advance, during the summer, as they were unable to cover the costs with the prices they were being paid. for their product in Europe,” said Jose Vicente Andreu, the president of Asaja Alicante and producer of lemons from Vega Baja. Thus, Argentina stopped sending lemons to Europe at the beginning of August, and South Africa, which must now comply with cold treatment and bear the high cost of transport, chose to divert to Europe. Asia the oranges it sent to the EU.
Andreu celebrated that growers were selling their lemons at a good pace in the countryside and receiving prices ranging from 0.35 to 0.40 euro per kilo. Regarding mandarins, Clemenules recorded a 30% increase in the price at origin compared to the previous year; and older varieties, such as Oronules, started to be sold at 0.55 euro, but their price is on the rise, and could even be sold for up to 0.70 euro/kg. “The Navelina trades at 0.25-0.30 euros per kilo, depending on its quality and earliness,” he added.
Additionally, Asaja said high summer temperatures reduced the size of the lemons. “They don’t have the commercial size, which explains why there are fewer fruits on the market. In addition, our main competitor in winter, Turkey, experienced a sharp reduction in its harvest due to the frost of the previous year.