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Between September 2021 and January 2022, the EU market purchased a total of 824,000 tons

The EU-27 increases citrus imports by 4.6%

This season, in the period between September and January, the European Union has imported 4.6% more citrus fruits than in the same period of the previous season, and 1.5% more than the average of the last 5 years, according to the report Enhanced monitoring of citrus imports by the EU, recently published by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. A total of 824,019 tons were purchased in the EU market, mostly oranges, whose volume increased by 36,000 tons compared to the 2020/21 campaign.

With a total of 353,660 tons, orange imports into the EU increased by 5.3% between September and January compared to the same period last season, but were 10.2% lower than in the same months of the 2019/20 campaign.

However, data available from January onwards show a significant year-on-year drop in EU imports. According to information extracted from Surveillance TAXUD, there has been a 30% drop compared to the first quarter of 2021. Imports of oranges carried out in EU territory between September and March have apparently fallen by 2.6% compared to last season.

As for the countries of origin, South Africa was the leading supplier between September and March, with more than 252,000 tons, and saw its shipments to the EU increase by 8.4%. The second in the ranking was Egypt, which saw its shipments drop by 40.7% in these months, reaching a total of 71,071 tons of oranges.

Morocco was in third place with 12,637 tons of oranges shipped and a year-on-year increase of 52.1%.

Small citrus fruits
Between September and January, small citrus imports amounted to 203,943 tons, which entails a 24.3% growth over the same months of the previous season. Morocco was the main non-EU supplier of small citrus fruits to the EU market with more than 74,000 tons, registering a year-on-year increase of 32.5%. Although significant, this growth wasn't as great as that achieved by South Africa, which shipped 56,724 tons and registered an increase of 69.2%.

In terms of volume shipped, Turkey is in third place with just over 40,000 tons, followed by Israel with 9,620 tons. The latter's shipments of small citrus fruits fell by 35%.

Lemon imports also experienced a remarkable year-on-year increase between September and January, reaching almost 160,000 tons, up 38.6%.

This increase was driven by increased shipments from South Africa and Argentina, which, with 41,245 and 38,154 tons, were up by 85.7% and 7,785.2%, respectively, compared to the same months of the previous year. Turkey was the main non-EU supplier of lemons to the EU, with almost 69,500 tons, despite this country recording a 12.3% drop in its shipments.

Grapefruits have not followed the upward trend in imports of the other citrus fruits analyzed in the Ministry's report. Their imports between September 2021 and January this year fell by 38.3%, exceeding 106,400 tons.

Chinese grapefruit shipments to the European market fell by 53.9% in the period at hand, down to 49,114 tons. Meanwhile, Turkey recorded an 18.1% drop, with shipments totaling almost 30,000 tons, and South Africa increased its grapefruit exports to the EU by 133.6%, reaching almost 9,000 tons.

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