The citrus season – success despite bottlenecks

The citrus season in Spain and Greece is in full swing and so far, all initial supply difficulties are resolved.

“Due to the long-standing and cooperative partnership with our producers, we have been able to fulfil programmes and delivery commitments with great effort, despite the Corona pandemic,” explains Fernando Blasco, citrus specialist of the KÖLLA Group, and makes it clear: “The situation is becoming increasingly difficult, however, as all participants in the supply chain are losing staff: in the plantations, packing centres and logistics, Covid 19 is spreading faster and faster, despite all hygiene measures. A strong enemy with whom we have to deal on a day-to-day basis”. Fernando Blasco continues by giving a short overview of the different citrus products.


As already reported in November, there was a clear shortage of clementines. Mandarins, on the other hand, could be marketed in good qualities and stable quantities at the same price level.
Clemenvillas are still available for the next 2-3 weeks. Should the predicted night temperatures around freezing point occur in the Valencia and Murcia area, the Clemenvilla could develop skin spots, but rain will not affect this variety. 

  • Ortanique: A very stable variety for the next 4-6 weeks. It stands out due to its particularly large sizes and is often offered in 2kg or 3kg as a juicing mandarin.
  • Nadorcott / Tango / Queen: These very high-quality varieties, whose harvest has started and will last until mid-March, are already showing highly satisfying qualities despite the fact that the season has only just begun. The cold temperatures are perfect, because these varieties are not as “skin sensitive” as e.g. Clemenvilla. Cold temperatures produce firm and juicy flesh and good flavour in these varieties. The supply is good, even if there are no vast quantities available. From mid-March, the supply is supplemented by the Murcott variety.


Since mid-December, the weather in the growing regions has been playing into the hands of our orange producers. The fresh and dry climate helps to produce very good quality. Due to the rather moderate demand, we assume that the available quantities of the late varieties will be sufficient to meet demand. For all orange varieties, medium to smaller sizes (4/5/6/7) will make up the largest proportion of this year’s harvest. The 1/2/3 sizes are and will remain scarce – therefore sought after and highly priced.

  • Navelinas / Navel: In the next 2-3 weeks these varieties will still be loaded. A normal supply of stable and good produce is guaranteed here.
  • Lane Late / Navel Late: In about 3-4 weeks we will switch to these late varieties. Until then, the qualities will get more stable and we do not expect any problems of supply.


So far, the season has been normal with good availability. During the past weeks, the absence of skin problems has ensured a very satisfactory quality.

  • Primofiori: This current variety will be delivered normally until the end of March.
  • Vernas: From the end of March / beginning of April this variety will take over. However, there will probably be bottlenecks here, as 30%-40% less produce will be available compared to the previous season. Therefore, prices for Verna are expected to increase substantially.


What is the situation in Greece?
In Greece, the availability of all orange and mandarin varieties currently remains stable. The qualities are also consistently good and therefore more than satisfactory. The rain forecast for next week should not affect the fruit.
From mid-February onwards, there could be a slight decline in availability – depending on how the weather and the qualities develop. However, we do not expect any availability shortages at any time.