Good production for Konispol’s mandarins but low prices mar campaign

Albanian mandarins

Konispoli tangerines are one of Albania’s emblematic fruits that appear on the international market at this time of the year.

There is growing interest in from EU countries and Eastern European markets in importing Albanian tangerines at this time of year. But although farmers started the season with great optimism, things have gone downhill. Harvesting in Konispoli – the country’s main producing and exporting region – got off to a late start this season due to heavy rains and autumn hailstorms causing significant damage, especially around Mursi.

The resulting damage to fruit quality, together with the devaluation of the euro and low market demand, has hit farmgate sales prices. Currently, mandarins are being sold in bulk at Lek37 (€0.36) per kg, while at the beginning of the season the price was at Lek50 (€0.48) per kg. This doesn’t even cover the cost of production, and farmers receive no help through subsidies.

About 60,000 tonnes of tangerines will be produced in Konispol this season. The main exports markets are regional countries like Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and North Macedonia.

Tangerine production has increased rapidly in recent years due to better-organised production and increased technification on farms and cooperatives in the south of the country. Mandarins account for the bulk of citrus production in the southern region of Saranda.

Global citrus production for 2023/24 is forecast to grow 3 per cent to 38m because of higher yields resulting from favourable weather in China and Turkey. EU production is forecast down 5 per cent to 2.7m tonnes with higher production in Greece being insufficient to offset lower production in Spain, where warm temperatures affected the crop.