The hot and dry summer in the Northern Hemisphere has led to a significantly smaller citrus crop, with volumes down by 13% to 25.96m tons in 2022/23, according to a report by the World Citrus Organisation (WCO). The preliminary forecast, presented during the third edition of the Global Citrus Congress on 30 November, is based on data from Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, and the US.
Eric Imbert of CIRAD and WCO Technical Secretariat said, “This year’s crop is one of the smallest of the last seasons, mainly due to climatic issues in leading export countries. But despite the decrease in Northern Hemisphere production, the citrus market continues to remain buoyant. Citrus is still one of the leading fruits on the global market”.
Orange production is estimated to decrease by 11.79% to 14m tons. A similar decrease is also expected for the other citrus categories, with grapefruit down by 16.88% to 769,043 tons, soft citrus down 13.32% to 7.18m tons and lemons down 15.70% to 4.02m tons.
In the European Union, production is forecasted to be down by 15.09% and 20.97% respectively in Spain and Italy, while WCO estimates a 10.83% increase for Greece.
In the Southern rim of the Mediterranean, production is also expected to decrease, by 33% in Morocco, 27.24% in Turkey and 17.12% in Tunisia. Volumes are forecast to remain stable in Israel (+0.40%) and increase in Egypt (+8.24%). The citrus crop in the US, according to USDA estimates, is expected to decrease by 5.16% compared to last season.