The Peruvian exporter Compañía de Exportaciones y Negocios Generales (Coexa) sees a rising demand for mandarins in the US market, while in Europe they see price rises due to a market shortage of imported fruit. According to Rodrigo Cisneros, commercial manager at Coexa: “The demand for mandarins in the USA market has been on the rise in recent years, and 2023 is no different. Mandarins are among the most popular citrus fruits in the country. This year we see in Europe a market shortage at the beginning of the season (April and May) for imported fruit. This can cause prices for early varieties from the southern hemisphere to rise.”
He says Coexa´s key market is the USA, representing around 65% of their shipments. The rest is directed to the European Union and Asian Markets. “One key factor that has contributed to the growing demand for mandarins in the US market is their versatility. These fruits can be used in a variety of ways, from eating fresh to juicing, cooking, and baking. Also, the mandarins have a very important role in the lunch boxes for kids in school. It is a great source of vitamin C and other essential nutrients, making them a popular choice among health-conscious consumers. In terms of pricing, the import market for mandarins in the USA has seen some fluctuations in recent years, but as of 2023, prices are expected to remain relatively stable. However, one factor that gets more complex and difficult every year is the increasing competition among importers, with suppliers from various countries such as Perú, Chile, Spain, Morocco, and others, all competing for a slice of the market, and quality becomes key and indispensable,” explains Cisneros.
Coexa produces, packs and exports Oronules, Clemenules, Tango and Tahiti Limes as well as Sweet Globe table grapes. They have an office in Lima, and the farm is in a fertile valley in Ica, Peru.
Looking to Europe
“The European market for mandarins has been expanding in recent years due to an increased interest in healthy eating and the popularity of mandarins as a quick and convenient snack. Many of the Peruvian exporters are targeting Europe this year with early varieties such as Satsuma, Primosole and Clementine among others. The reduction in ocean freight costs also helps make this possible. As well as the US, in terms of average pricing, the European market for mandarins is relatively stable. Prices tend to fluctuate depending on the season and the availability of the fruit, but overall, they remain within a reasonable range for consumers,” says Cisneros.
Shipping rates lower
“Over the past year, the global economy has experienced a significant shift in the cost of sea freights. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have created unforeseen challenges for the shipping industry. Last year, many businesses that relied on shipping services faced innumerable challenges in maintaining their supply chains. The costs of transporting goods overseas surged, making it increasingly difficult to turn a profit for many businesses. The shortage of containers also meant that some businesses experienced delays in receiving their goods, leading to a loss of sales and profits. However, for us growers, we can now breathe a sigh of relief with the recent decrease in sea freight costs. The improving situation has been attributed to various factors, including the easing of lockdowns, increased availability of containers, and the return of normalcy in global trade. However, this still isn’t enough to cover the increasing input cost of growers,” states Cisneros.
Expanding to Asia
“Within the next four years we aim to develop the Asian market by achieving shipments of over 20% of our volume. The start of operations of the new port of Chancay will help to open doors to the Asian market in a faster and more efficient way. We are also betting on new citrus varieties such as the Orri, which will allow us to have a variety of products to offer importers and supermarkets. Finally, now a days, productivity is everything. The grower must know how to use each square meter of his fields to achieve the best yield and to be able to achieve an excellent exportable percentage and a premium quality that can compete in the most demanding markets,” concludes Cisneros.