USDA: Citrus Semi-annual EU

Morocco and South Africa supply citrus market after disappointing European harvests

In 2019/2020, EU citrus production's expected to fall by 11% to 10,4 million tons. This prediction is four percent higher than previous estimates. This expected decline in total production is due to the adverse weather condition in Spain. Spain's the EU's leading citrus supplier.

This fall in EU citrus production could boost EU imports. But, EU exports remain stable. That's due to higher domestic demand in the EU. Canada, the Middle East, and China remain the EU's strategic EU citrus export markets.

Spain and Italy are the EU's top citrus suppliers. Greece, Portugal, and Cyprus follow them. A decrease in total citrus production is expected for 2019/2020. But, the fruit's quality should be excellent.

Citrus consumption gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. People wanted immune-boosting foods. In the EU, this increased citrus consumption is combined with a low citrus supply. That pushed Spanish citrus prices up in the first 16 weeks of 2020.

The EU's 2019/2020 orange production is expected to be 6,1 million tons. That's almost nine percent lower than the previous year. But it's six percent higher than earlier estimates. Again, this decline's expected mainly in Spain, which is the EU's largest orange supplier too. And again, it's due to the unfavorable weather conditions. Spain had heavy rain in autumn and spring.

Over the last nine years, the EU's total orange production has decreased by nearly 13%. Eight percent fewer mandarins are also being cultivated. Lemon production's expected to fall by 16% too. That's compared to the previous period's 1,4 million tons. EU grapefruit production will probably decrease by 11% to 96,000 tons.

That's due to the expected sharp decline in Spain - the EU's top lemon and grapefruit supplier. The total area of lemons and grapefruit keeps increasing in the EU. It's grown by eight percent since 2011. But, that hasn't resulted in large yields this year.

Citrus imports to the EU are expected to increase slightly for 2019/2020. That's thanks to the decreased citrus production in the region. This citrus will come from mainly Morocco and South Africa.

EU citrus export destinations are primarily Switzerland, Norway, and Canada. There's been a significant rise in exports to China and the Middle East. EU citrus exports are expected to remain on an upward trajectory. That's in the region's strategic markets. These include Canada, the Middle East, and China.

For more information: USDA

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