In the 2020/2021 campaign, the Spanish citrus harvest is expected to reach 6.93 million tons, according to estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA). This represents an increase of 12% compared to the previous campaign, when the results were very poor, so "the sector has recovered its average productive potential."
According to the general director of Agricultural Productions and Markets, Esperanza Orellana, the orange and grapefruit productions are expected to drop by 1% and 3%, respectively, compared to the average of recent years, while small citrus fruits should grow by 12% and lemons by 8%.
During the meeting, the MAPA also informed the sector about the steps being taken to make information on markets, varieties and crop estimates more transparent and accurate, as it believes that these will be very valuable tools for decision-making at all levels.
The meeting also served to carry out an assessment of the 2019/2020 campaign that has just finished, with a final production estimated at 6.2 million tons; "18% below that obtained in 2018/19 (which was a record one), 9% lower than the average of the previous five, and the lowest since the 2015/16 season.”
Regarding trade, the Ministry says that "it has shown great dynamism," especially since the beginning of the pandemic, because "citrus fruits are easy to store and long-lasting, and they are also very healthy."
The MAPA reports that the domestic consumption of citrus fruits up to May has increased by 5.1% in terms of volume and by 17% in terms of value, highlighting the significant increase in lemon consumption, which has grown by 11.2% in a year.
In terms of value, exports have registered a rebound of 19% compared to the previous season.
In this market context, the prices received by producers have been "much higher than in previous seasons, with very significant increases, especially in the first weeks of the pandemic."
The average price at origin of oranges has more than doubled compared to that of the 2018/2019 campaign, and is 40% higher than the average paid in the five preceding campaigns. In May, prices "tripled compared to previous years."