Wide focus for Peruvian citrus in 2014

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Wide focus for Peruvian citrus in 2014

With Peru's citrus exports expected to rise 10% in 2014, industry group ProCitrus is upbeat about its prospects with plans to strengthen its market presence overseas by sending fruit of good quality and flavor. At www.freshfruitportal.com, we caught up with the association's general manager Sergio del Castillo, who discussed plans and objectives for upcoming seasons. easy peelers shutterstock 129

Del Castillo said the U.K. was the top destination for Peruvian citrus fruit, receiving a significant volume of fruit each year.

"It is a market that has been falling in volume in general, however, as Peruvians we have known how to position ourselves very well in the United Kingdom market, where they consume a lot of Satsuma mandarins, and I think the English will always like them," he said.

Aside from Europe, ProCitrus has sought to promote Peruvian fruit in a range of global markets, with intentions to also consolidate a position in Africa.

"The European market is very important. It is one of the main markets for Peruvian citrus exports and we will continue enhancing our presence in the market, undertaking the efforts needed to keep ourselves there.

"We are also working on developing markets in Africa. That's what we're betting on in the coming years."

For the U.S., which is Peru's third largest citrus market, del Castillo said activities were underway to keep growing exports and reinforcing the industry's presence.

When asked about exports to China, the general manager said work was still underway to evaluate ways to deliver quality fruit to the Asian country despite the long distance.

"In terms of China, fruit is being sent but here you have a technical issue that has to do with the treatment of fruit fly, which is very severe for such a long trajectory. So, what we have to do is see the best way we can improve the issue to be able to arrive with better quality fruit in this market.

Forecasts for 2014

Del Castillo said the expected 10% year-on-year rise in exports was due to new plants reaching adulthood.

"Four or five years ago, many varieties were replaced and these plants are already in their fifth year more or less, which is why production keeps increasing each year.

"What has been the most planted in recent years is the W. Murcott mandarin. It is a variety that has been growing in a sustained way in recent years, and I believe that it will keep leading growth in comparison to other varieties.

"In terms of tangelos, we are important players in this product in international markets. However, I believe that tangelo volumes have stabilized. I don't believe they will continue to rise."

He also highlighted goals to expand the amount of areas in Peru allowed for citrus export to the United States, expanding to the whole country from the current zones of Ica, Lima, Lambayeque, Piura and Junin.

Photo: www.shutterstock.com


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