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Spain - Valencian citrus growers have lost about 300 million Euro

With 87% of the Region of Valencia’s harvest already marketed or currently on the shelves, this year’s citrus campaign is entering its final stretch, and it is doing so with a truly catastrophic balance for the producers. A detailed report prepared by the technical services of the Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA-ASAJA) reveals that since last September, the losses accumulated by growers dedicated to the cultivation of oranges and mandarins amount to around 300 million Euro (295.9 million, to be precise), which makes this one of the most calamitous seasons in the long history of the Valencian citrus industry.

The disaster has been of such magnitude that a little over 27% of the production has actually not even found a commercial outlet, due in part to the impact of the torrential rains last November, but mainly to the slowdown in the demand, as the market has apparently been saturated by the citrus fruits imported from third countries.

This considerable amount of fruit left hanging has in turn generated additional costs, since even if it isn’t sold, it still has to be removed from the trees, so as to prevent hormonal disorders.

According to an analysis from AVA-ASAJA, citrus growers have been losing 1.5 million Euro per day this campaign, and although the results have been negative for most citrus varieties, clementines and navelines have taken the worst part.

The president of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, has described the campaign as “absolutely disastrous,” stressing that “what has happened has unequivocally shown that the crisis management mechanisms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are useless, and also that the autonomic, central and EU governments have proven their inability to adopt effective measures to truly alleviate the problems of producers.”

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