AILIMPO's grapefruit production estimate for the 2017/2018 marketing year points to a Spanish harvest totalling 61,000 tonnes, down 24% compared to last season, when it reached 80,700 tonnes. This season, there will be fewer pieces of fruit per tree and calibres are expected to be larger. The acreage devoted to the crop remains stable and the decline is actually due to an irregular flowering that hasn't affected all plantations to the same extent. The production drop is more noticeable in the older plantations, while the production prospects for young plantations are similar to those of the previous campaign.
Despite this overall decline, the sector's prospects are good, as in the winter campaign, Spain remains as the EU's second biggest supplier in terms of volume, only behind Turkey. However, in terms of product quality, Spanish grapefruit is considered superior to the Turkish, which entails clear potential for growth. Moreover, given the reduced supply in Florida and Israel, Spain has positioned itself strongly in the EU as an essential supplier in order for the demand to be met.
Balance of the 2016/2017 campaign
The 2016/2017 campaign came to a close with a harvest totalling 80,783 tonnes, mainly intended for export to the German and French markets, which account for 50% of all sales, with 31,000 tonnes. A small volume was exported to third country markets (2,500 tonnes), where there was a strong increase, and it is worth highlighting the efforts made to open and consolidate markets such as Switzerland, South Africa, China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, the domestic market is estimated to absorb about 7,000 tonnes, with a slight growth every year, and a greater presence of grapefruit on supermarket shelves and in fruit stores. Lastly, the processing industry absorbed some 10,000 tonnes of lower quality fruit.