Spain offsets drop in Italy for overall rise in EU citrus volumes

EU-28 citrus production in the 2016/17 marketing year is likely to reach 11 million tons, meaning growth of 3.3% on 2015/16, according to USDA Foreign Agricultural Service analysts. The small […]
Tue 13/12/2016

EU-28 citrus production in the 2016/17 marketing year is likely to reach 11 million tons, meaning growth of 3.3% on 2015/16, according to USDA Foreign Agricultural Service analysts.

The small increase is expected despite an estimated 27% drop in production in Italy because favourable weather has made Spain likely to see a 20% boost in its citrus production, the new USDA report says.

However, due to lower Italian production, the EU-28 orange volume is forecast at 6 million tons, a 3% reduction on the 2015/16 marketing year (November-October). Notwithstanding, total EU tangerine production is predicted to rise 8% to 3.3 million tons, largely thanks to a 24% growth forecast in Spain.

And the lemon and grapefruit crops are forecast to rise 22% and 11.6% respectively, thanks to higher volumes expected in most EU-28 citrus producer countries.

Trade

A net importer of oranges, the EU-28 bought in 964,389 tons of oranges in 2015/16, up 4% on the previous season, though the value was down 1.8% to US $658.5 million.

South Africa and Egypt continued to be its top suppliers, followed by Morocco, Argentina and Uruguay.

The EU-28’s orange exports in 2015/16 totalled 319,080 tons, up 7.5%, and they went mainly to Switzerland, Serbia and Norway.

To compensate for the loss of the Russian market, the EU-28, led by Spanish producers, has reoriented their citrus exports to new markets such as Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia or China.

Spain – the EU-28’s top orange producer and exporter – markets most (92%) of its oranges within the EU but its exports to China have undergone significant increases in the last three years, totalling 10,010 tons for October 2015 to August 2016, a 246% increase on the previous year.

Source: EU-28 Citrus Annual 2016, GAIN Report Number SP1634, December 7, 2016