According to the general manager of the Association of Citrus Producers of Peru (ProCitrus), Sergio of the Castillo Valderrama, Peru expects to export more than 130,000 tons of citrus fruit in this campaign, which started in mid March and will end in September, i.e. 2% to 3% more than the 127.790 tons it exported in the 2016 campaign.
Castillo Valderrama said the country could produce more than expected, but that it depended on the sizes they achieve and on the climate.
He said that 115,000 tons of the total 130,000 tons of citrus that will be exported would be of mandarins (including tangelo). In 2016, Peru exported 110,000 tons of mandarins.
"The Mandarin is the star product of the citrus sector. It has a good quality, a good production, and no pest problems. It's a very competitive product," he said.
In addition, he said that 35% of their exports would be destined to the United States, 24% to the United Kingdom, followed by the Netherlands and Canada. "These four markets account for more than 80% of the total dispatched. Its the same percentages regarding mandarin exports.
Del Castillo said they were working to open the Dominican Republic market for national mandarins. "Last year a delegation from that country's health authority visited us to discuss oranges, so we were able to send some valencia oranges and worked to see if we could gain access for all citrus" he said.
In that sense, he said, it's possible that a delegation from that country will visit us in May this year to finalize the protocol access for mandarins and other citrus. The Dominican Republic has a great market in the Hotel, Restaurants and Catering (Horeca) category.
Another interesting market that they are still working on, he said, is Japan. "A Japanese delegation will visit us by the end of April or in early May to finalize the entry of mandarins to that country. I can't say for sure that we'll open the market but the arrival of this delegation indicates that they are willing to negotiate and are interested in our mandarins."
He also said that Procitrus, together with the National Service of Agrarian Health (Senasa), were evaluating intensively promoting the negotiations with different Asian countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
The weather won't affect the campaign
The general manager of ProCitrus said that the rains, landslides, and floods in the Peruvian North Coast would not affect the citrus campaign, as these products are mainly grown in the country's central coast.
"We haven't received any damage reports, the fields are normal. However, we do have problems supplying the local market as the roads are damaged, but our exports are not affected," he said.
He said that they had experienced problems sending mandarin to Trujillo and Chiclayo, so it was being redirected to Lima.
Regarding the lemons produced in Piura, he said they had problems sending them to Lima, which had led to an unimaginable price increase, but that prices were beginning to improve.
"The problem is the traffic. The fields have not been affected so there is a production. The fruit continues on the trees and hasn't been harvested. There is a personnel problem because workers aren't going to the farming centers, as there is an emergency," he concluded.