The first instalment in a series of exhibitor spotlights from Asia Fruit Logistica focuses on Spanish citrus exports. During last week's show, the Asiafruit team spoke to some of the sector's leading players about the prospects for the upcoming campaign and increased demand out of China.
Anecoop’s Pablo Mora said demand for Spanish oranges in China now far exceeds supply and they now sell for the same price as Californian oranges. Last season Spain shipped almost 20,000 tonnes of citrus to China but Mora said this could have been closer to 30,000 tonnes if the climate had not affected production and shippers hadn’t experienced the disruption of the port workers’ strike.
One of the most successful Spanish citrus companies operating in China is warning that the ongoing dispute between port workers and the Spanish government is putting the sector’s future in Asia in jeopardy. Having already caused major disruption to shipping schedules last season it threatens to do the same in the coming season unless a resolution is found. “The stevedores’ actions are putting the brakes on our expansion plans and endangering a business that we have worked very hard to build up,” said Motilla commercial manager Juan Motilla.
Spanish citrus specialist García Ballester’s new packhouse in Huelva will serve as the base for the company’s growing Navel programme to China. Jorge García said Singapore would be the latest addition to its expanding portfolio of Asian markets for the coming season.
Exporting to 55 countries including China, Brazil, South Africa and Finland, Spain’s Frutaria prides itself on being able to reach the four corners of the globe, said Carlos Echeveste. The company’s oranges are gaining a firm foothold in the Chinese market and it is confident that the import protocol for Spanish table grapes will be in place by 2018.