The citrus production in the 2019/2020 campaign has been estimated at 6.27 million tons; 17% below that of last year and 8% below the average of the last five campaigns. These figures are still subject to review, given the impact of the recent storms on the productions.
One of the issues raising the concerns of the Andalusian sector is the entry of products from third countries. In fact, the Council of Agriculture has asked the central government for the implementation of “more rigorous border controls” to prevent Citrus Black Spot (CBS) from reaching Andalusia, after several batches infected with this pest were detected in imports from South Africa.
To prevent CBS from spreading in the region, Manuel Gómez, general director of Agricultural and Livestock Production, has insisted on asking the Ministry of Health, which oversees the Border Inspection Posts (PIF), for improvements in them “in order to ensure that thorough phytosanitary controls are carried out on citrus imports arriving in Spain from South Africa.”
He also highlighted the decision of the European Commission to include CBS in the list of priority pests, which entails the establishment of more rigid inspections in order to detect its presence in time and thus prevent it from spreading to the rest of Europe.
The Ministry has also reported that the volumes imported by the EU in the latest campaign were lower than those of the previous one, mostly as a result of a large production in Spain.
The department headed by Luis Planas has proposed offering the sector relevant information to develop strategies and improve the planning and monitoring of the campaigns, as well as to enhance the collaboration between autonomous regions, the EC, and other organizations, such as the Spanish Agrarian Guarantee Fund.
With these actions, the MAP continues moving forward with the Plan of measures approved for the Spanish citrus sector, which is intended to keep the supply under control, improve the structure and promote the sector's internationalization with the objective of revitalizing the citrus market and guaranteeing its future.
Regarding the balance of the latest campaign, the Prices and Markets Observatory considers it far from favorable for the sector, and defines it as “critical”. In addition to an increase in the production, incidences in the crop's biotic development and the rise of production costs, there has been a generalized drop of the average prices and a reduction of the demand.