Tasty citrus from Spain, Italy and Greece have their peak season from October to May. Due to increased heat waves and dry spells this summer, there have been water shortages that will result in a decrease in overall availability, as well as price increases.
The Spanish citrus crop is showing significant product shortages, particularly for clementines and lemons. Reduced availability of clementines may create stronger demand for satsumas. Clemenules are expected to see a 40% crop loss in their October-December harvest season in the main Tarragona area. Mandarins have their season start in January; for these, it is too early to give estimates.
For September, the availability of Primofiori lemons is forecast to be about 20% lower. For March, availability of the Verna variety will be about 40% down. This will lead to an overall increase in market prices.
In Spain, the orange season starts at the beginning of November. Oranges are expected to have a high quality season with a wide variety of calibers, with somewhat lower availability expected in the first half of the season.
In Italy, as well, the harvest situation is dependent on the capricious weather. The extreme heat caused the blossoms of the smaller lemon varieties, which were to be harvested in October, to drop prematurely. Compared to last year's yield, losses of up to 20% are expected here. Furthermore, there is an increased risk of bottlenecks in the water supply as the drought continues.
Although significant crop losses are predicted, good sales opportunities are expected due to the increased demand for Italian produce. Compared to last season's high yield, clementines, mandarins and juice oranges are starting the season with much lower availability. Overall, however, this decline is at a normal level in a multi-year comparison. Availability is currently expected to remain unchanged for navel oranges, which will be in season from November, depending on the temperature.
The Greek orange and clementine crop also shows reduced availability. However, taken as a whole, the season is expected to have regular volumes.