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Spanish citrus recovery

This article was originally published in Foodnews

THE Spanish citrus market has started to get back on its feet after low prices hit the industry hard last month. Industry insiders expect prices to improve early next year, although they remain below prices fetched at the same period in 2009. Jennifer Willis-Jones writes: Navel oranges are now selling for between EUR0.094 and EUR0.141 per kg and clemenvilla clementines between EUR0.165 and EUR0.259/kg which is higher than in recent weeks but still lower than last year, according to agri-information agency Efeagro. Rafael Cervera, secretary general of UPA-País Valenciano, said the worst moment was in November when prices slipped 30% compared with the previous year. He explained that growers with early harvests were the most affected by falling prices, while those who have not yet started marketing their produce hope to achieve better figures. Cervera also added that more oranges had been traded than at this time last year but that a real problem was the lack of approved contracts. Meanwhile, the technical director of INTERCITRUS, Anabel Siguan, agreed that the current market situation for oranges had improved and that the prospects for later varieties towards the end of the season were good. Siguan also said that the Spanish citrus market would not benefit from a hypothetical increase in US imports as a result of a crop failure in Florida since "Spain mainly exports oranges for fresh consumption and that which has been lost was for juice". However, she added that export performance was "very positive", with INTERCITRUS estimating a 20-25% increase in sales to non-EU countries and rises in EU markets.

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