According to the latest report on the "Strengthened monitoring of EU citrus imports" that was published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, between January and August of this year the EU has imported 560,000 tons of oranges from third countries, i.e. 12.3% fewer oranges than in the same period of 2020 and 1.2% fewer oranges than the average of that period in the last five years.
In the first eight months of the year, Egypt was the most important foreign supplier, surpassing South Africa, which up until this season ranked first, the report states. Specifically, Egypt placed 307,455 tons of oranges in the EU between January and August, i.e. 21.8% more than in the same period of 2020. South Africa placed 148,650 tons (-32.9%), and Morocco shipped 44,417 tons (-39.0%).
So far in 2021, imports peaked in August, when the EU imported 116,444 tons, a lower volume than the 140,535 ton average of the last five years. They were followed by imports in July (91,099 tons), April (89,897 tons), March (70,963 tons), May (67,865 tons), February (36,824 tons), and January (30,806 tons).
According to the report, EU imports of third-country oranges have increased gradually between 2014 and 2020, with the exception of 2019, a year in which they suffered a decrease. In fact, between January and August, Egypt has already exported more oranges to the EU than in the whole of 2020 (256,289 tons); its highest volume of shipments was concentrated in April 2021 (84,105 tons). South Africa, however, shipped its largest shipments in August (78,000 tons) and July (55,288 tons), and Morocco recorded its best export figure to the EU in June (11,170 tons).
The average data for the last five years shows that imports from a southern hemisphere country like South Africa peak in September (a month in which they averaged 128,438 tons between 2016 and 2020).
The largest shipments from Egypt took place in April and are in direct competition with the national production (64,906 tons on average in the last five years).
Orange shipments from Morocco to the EU are distributed mainly between April and August, with a rebound in July (13,248 tons on average in that month in the last five years).