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Hispagroup: with the sights set on new markets

2022 has been a very active year for the company from Murcia
Ginés García hispagroup

The company, present on 30 international markets, attended all the sector’s main trade fair events and it will continue in this line with its presence at Berlin’s FruitLogistica trade fair.

“Our attendance at different important world events has been a way to recover the time lost with the pandemic.” This is how Ginés Garcia, Manager of the company, explained it, when talking to Fruit Today about the new situation.

Hispagroup closed 2022 with an important promotional activity at significant events, such as Asia FruitLogistica. What is your opinion regarding the Asian markets in general?

These markets are very interesting for all the operators, but the situation continues to be complicated due to the high costs of shipping which, although they are beginning to drop, are not doing so at the rate they should. We have carried out occasional operations by air, but they are very expensive transactions and they must lead to important added value on the product sales.

However, in spite of the complexity of the situation, one factor that is in our favour is the dollar-euro exchange rate, which gives us some more competitiveness, although not enough.

Another of your trips was to the PMA in Orlando. What were your aims?

We met up with some of our Canadian clients there, with whom we have been working for a long time. We were trying to get a first approach to the US market, but we immediately realised that, except for certain products such as garlic or table grapes, the market is very complicated due to the obstacles caused by certificates required.

You have extensive operating experience in Europe. What is your view of the current situation of the European markets?

In general, although they have followed the route of post-pandemic recovery, particularly in the Horeca channel, the truth is that the demand on the large distribution chains has been stabilised by the important inflation being suffered by some countries, particularly the Baltic States. A drop in consumption of fresh produce may be seen, as well as a purchase movement towards the large discount stores, where better prices are sought.

Long distance exporters, such as Hispagroup, have been affected most by the energy crisis because our markets are medium and long distance and fuel prices have a greater effect on any operation.

Hispagroup is an expert regarding Eastern European countries; what is the current situation of those closest to the Ukrainian armed conflict?

We are seeing how in the countries close to Ukraine (Slovakia, Hungary, Poland), the demand is growing because part of the products end up feeding the Ukrainian population. Specifically, we see how Spanish citrus fruit are maintaining an expeditious demand owing to the food safety that our country offers compared to other productions from countries such as Egypt or Turkey.

The Polish market is behaving well, amongst other reasons, because its inflation is strictly controlled and also fruit and vegetables have not carried VAT for almost a year now.

With the war, we have lost the Belarusian market, along with other areas of Ukraine, but we have compensated this with other European regions, and, in fact, our invoicing volume has grown by between 5 and 7%.

At source, what is your view about the productions?

I think we are going to have problems with vegetable products. The expectations are not being met due to the high temperatures. The harvests are speeding up and, in the end, this could cause a lack of produce. I think that the citrus fruit harvest volume is going to be lower than the final expectations.

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