The comparative analysis by the president of Consorzio Euroagrumi, Salvatore Rapisarda

Orange production: more bananas and apples than oranges

Salvatore Rapisalda is the president of the Consorzio Euroagrumi, and he told to FreeshPlaza: “Until the beginning of the 80s, orange was the most consumed fruit in the world, surpassing bananas for almost three million tons. By that time, indeed, the oranges produced were 40 million tons while bananas were 37 million”.

“However, as of 2015, bananas volumes tripled – 115.24 million tons – while orange volumes did not increase that much – 73.19 million tons”. 

“Even the apples, which in the 80s were 34 million tons, surpassed oranges in 2015, reaching 86 million tons – 13 million tons more than oranges”.

Rapisarda pointed out, “Therefore, now bananas and apples are the most consumed fruits globally. Obviously, this argument can be made only if we do not take into consideration the tomato – which is a fruit, botanically speaking.

The development of the bananas, apples and oranges production in the world, in the 1980-2015 period. Euroagrumi's considerations based on data provided by FAO.

The different production dynamics in the different citrus groves
There are very different situations in each country – even though they all reflect a general decreasing trend for the most renowned country producers such as Italy, Israel or USA. On the other hand, countries like China and Brasil are performing very well – they are the global leaders within the orange sector.

After all, it should not come as a surprise since oranges originated in China and therefore the country does know how to manage such a crop.

Rapisarda, “I am a bit perplexed regarding the Italian orange export to China. I know this is a hot topic now, but I have two doubts: the transportation costs and the open borders strategy for oranges. With regard to the latter, we will inevitably lose against China as the country is destined to become the first global producer – as its trend in the last year remained constant”.

“We risk being completely submerged by this fresh produce and especially by the processed one. Most likely, this is the true goal of Chinese companies: to open the borders to small Italian or European supplies in order to rightfully demand the same for us”.

The development of the orange producer countries 2000-2016 - Euroagrumi's consideration based on data provided by FAO

Rapisarda concluded, “Brazil is still the first global orange producer. However, if we look at the data starting from 2000, we notice that Brazilian production dropped by 4 million tons whereas Chinese production grew by 7.4 million tons. China took the place of USA as the second global producer, as USA production halved over the last 15 years. The same argument can be made regarding Italy and Israel, the production from which has dropped considerably”.

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