The 2019/20 EU citrus crop is projected to fall, mainly due to unfavourable weather in Spain, according to FAS Madrid data. Fruit quality is estimated to be excellent. Consumption of citrus is predicted to rise in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as consumers look for sources of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system. The higher demand and lower supply pushed up prices in Spain during the first 16 weeks of 2020. EU imports of citrus are expected to grow slightly, mainly from Morocco and South Africa.
EU citrus crop shrinks
Reduced EU lemon crop in 2019/20 despite larger growing area
The rise and rise of South Africa’s soft citrus
© Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution
South Africa’s tangerine/mandarin crop is projected to rise by 12% in the 2019/20 campaign, continuing the sector’s strong growth of recent times. Total production is estimated to reach 421,000 tons, mainly due to an increase in production area, normal weather conditions, and improved winter rainfall received in the main production area of the Western Cape. Moreover, many plantings are now reaching maturity. COVID had a minimal impact on labour supply.
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South Africa’s 2019/20 orange crop is projected to grow by 1% to 1.6 million tons, according to CGA data. The increase is attributed to good rainfall in the main growing regions, the rise in area planted, better water management techniques by farmers, and new plantings of high yielding and late-maturing varieties.