The current citrus fruit campaign is completely opposite to the previous one. The reason? Much lower volumes (-20%).
For the Valencian cooperative Carlet, the situation is no different than the general trend. In fact, as its manager, José Climent tells us, “due to the shortage of clementines very early on, varieties arriving after the 6th of January will come into play, such as the Tango, and even the Nadorcott, which will be on the market earlier than ever.”
The campaign started off in a calm commercial situation, but it suddenly speeded up as the different varieties were harvested: Satsumas, Marisoles or Clemenules. “The speed gained by the markets is surprising, to the point that at the end of November all the clementine varieties were sold out. It is a campaign with good behaviour in both demand and prices.”
Oranges have also taken off very fast and the fields are experiencing a certain speculation. However, this category could have difficulties commercially, as it comes into competition with Egyptian produce with lower prices. This speculative situation is not really being reflected in the real prices in the large distribution networks.
Regarding the essential subjects that particularly worried and concerned the sector last year, Climent believes that “we are quick to forget the problems if the campaign maintains a certain upswing. Although the subjects remain unresolved, particularly when talking about a union to defend common interests in the right place, which has to be Brussels. I personally think that others are starting to do the homework that we should have done before and they will mark out the guidelines. If we were in it, at least, we would find out what was going on,” in a clear allusion to the World Citrus Organization (WCO).
And he asserts that “the political strategies of any country worth its salt include being self-sufficient on the subject of food, and Europe seems to be moving in a completely different direction. At this rate we are going to depend on third countries to feed us.”
A new Valencian integration project
Although when writing these lines it had not been officially announced, in order to strengthen its position, improve its competitiveness and its market-orientation, the cooperative from La Ribera is about to start an integration project with another organisation that will allow it to grow and take advantage of synergies.