Marketing-Börse PLUS - Fachbeiträge zu Marketing und Digitalisierung
print logo

The devaluation of the Egyptian pound further increases the competitiveness of Egyptian oranges in Europe

Government investments have transformed large tracts of desert land into citrus plantations and lowered production costs.
10.04.24 | Source: Fresh Plaza

Citrus producers in Castellón are facing increasing competition from Egypt, which exported 111,557 tons of oranges to Europe in the first two months of the year, i.e. 56% more than in the same period of the previous year. This massive influx of fruit into key markets such as France, Germany, and Belgium has negatively impacted the demand for Spanish citrus, causing a drop in field prices, especially after having reached high values in the first part of the campaign.

Egypt's success in the orange market has been attributed to several factors, such as government investments that have transformed large tracts of desert land into citrus plantations, significantly lower production costs due to low wages compared to Spain, and a strategic geographical location near the Suez Canal. In addition, the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, driven by policies of monetary liberalization demanded by the International Monetary Fund, has made Egyptian oranges even more competitive in the European market.

Egyptian exporters have managed to send their fruit to the European Union at prices comparable to those of the local market, in some cases without previously defining prices, an uncommon practice in Europe. This situation has made placing a kilo of Egyptian oranges in European supermarkets cheaper than ever. However, the devaluation of the currency has also had adverse effects on local producers, which are mainly reflected in the increased costs of imported packaging boxes.

This season, Egypt is expected to produce 3.7 million tons of citrus (+2.7% over the previous year) and export two million tons (+25% more than in the 2022-23 campaign). This increase in production is mainly due to favorable weather conditions and the expansion of citrus-growing areas.

Representatives of Agricultural Food Cooperatives in Spain have expressed concern about the impact of massive citrus imports, particularly from Egypt and South Africa, on the domestic market as they have saturated the market and reduced prices at origin. This dynamic puts at risk the economic viability of Spanish farmers, already affected by the increase in production costs and the adverse effects of drought and high temperatures.