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Peter Breels, Rodiers:

"Moroccan and Egyptian clementines being pushed on Belgian market"

Spanish citrus prices have been quite high this whole season. "The supply's not limited, but volumes are lower than in previous years. So, prices, especially for juicing oranges, are much higher than in other years," says Peter Breels of the Belgian wholesaler Rodiers.

Quality is not lacking, though, he adds. "The weather issues Spain experienced barely affected the brands we always carry. What's noticeable is the many suppliers trying to push Moroccan and Egyptian clementines in Belgium. I suspect those markets have shrunk somewhat because of the Ukrainian conflict. That makes it tougher to get citrus to that market. Belgians, however, still prefer the Spanish product; we're familiar with it."

These high prices and diminished consumer purchasing power means Spanish citrus sales are not entirely typical. "With us, it's not too bad at all," Peter continues.

"We focus more on retail. There, people still opt more for quality, so prices are slightly less important. It's, of course, impacting us, but there isn't a huge difference with other years."

"Market vendors, however, with whom we also do plenty of trade, are currently experiencing a sales dip. But that's not so much due to inflation," Peter explains, "It's mainly because these past weeks, the weather's not been great. We've had plenty of rain and, more recently, snow. That keeps most people away from the markets."

Besides citrus, Rodiers' main top sellers are grapes and top fruit. "Grapes always sell well, as does Belgian top fruit. Strawberries, though, are struggling a lot at the moment. The Belgian situation is well known, of course. But the Spanish supply has also become somewhat limited in recent weeks. That's primarily because it's been somewhat colder in Spain, so there's less supply. That makes for very high prices and a difficult market," Peter concludes.

For more information:
Peter Breels
Groothandel Rodiers
1038 Industrieweg
3540, Herk-de-Stad, BE
Tel: +32 (0) 135 51 152

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