“Exporters compete with each other, rather than with other origins. We already deal with an overproduction of mandarins in my opinion. Some of the growers have started to cut trees that are not promising to supply good quality. However, we do notice a change in varieties in production. This will result in less production of Satsuma, but more production of the W. Murcott variety. The demand for this variety is increasing over the years”, says Mustafa Arslan from the Turkish company MDA Agriculture Products.

The production volumes are expected to be more this year. “Our citrus season will start on the mid of September, with early lemon varieties like Mayer and Interdonato. Then we continue with Lamas lemons from the mid of November till the end of June. We start our mandarin season in the first week of October with the Mihowase variety. Then from the end of October we have the Dobashi-beni variety. In November, the Satsuma variety is available, in December we have Nova and from the end of January the W.Murcott varieties start.”

For grapefruit, about 7-8% less volume is expected. “All of these estimations obviously depend a lot on the coming weather conditions. We should start our season of Star Ruby variety in the first week of October and continue with Rudyred, W.Marsh seedless and Riored general varieties in Turkey to the end of April.”

Also the season of oranges will run till the end of April. “It starts in October with Navelina varieties and then we continue with Washington and Valencia.”

Mustafa explains that Russia the biggest importer for fresh citrus fruit, fruit and vegetables for Turkey in general. “The political situation seems stable and we don´t foresee any problems with Russia. The second biggest export market is Iraq, followed by Romania. After these top three countries, we also export to Germany, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Poland, Holland and Bulgaria is upcoming.”

“There is a strong competition from Spain. Also other origins, such as Croatian and Greek mandarins affect our market. Turkey has some transport advantages, if we are talking about exports to Russia, Ukraine, Iraq and Romania. These countries are the main importers for Russia, so that’s in our favour.”

However, the citrus exporters explains that most competition is from Turkish exporters with each other. “As we don´t work with cooperatives, most exporters buy their fruit directly from the producers. There are intermediaries that buy fruit from producers and re-sell them to exporters. The biggest players in the industry are exporters that have their own production. Often, the difficulty of trying to get the best fruit, availability and competition between each other results in buying fruit at high prices. However, due to the lack of marketing the fruit is sold more cheaply to the importers. This is the biggest struggle for the Turkish citrus export at the moment. More than competing with other origins.” -freshplaza.com