The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (MAPA) estimates the country will produce 5.968 million tons of citrus in the 2022/2023 campaign, which began on September 1. This is a significant 15.6% decrease compared to the previous year and a 12.8% fall when compared to the average of the last five years (1.1 million tons less). It is necessary to go back to the 2012/13 campaign to find a campaign with lower production. According to the latest available data, the cultivation areas increased by 1.7% in 2021 and amounted to 219,096 hectares.
The excessive rainfall during the flowering and setting phases of the fruit, the extremely high temperatures in later stages, and the restrictions on irrigation in some regions were determinants of this low production.
By product, oranges will experience the greatest decrease, with falls of 19.9% over the previous campaign and 15.7% when compared to the average of the last five campaigns. Small citrus fruit production will fall by 9.8% over the previous year and by 9.1% compared to the average of the last campaigns. Lemon production will decrease by 12.4% and 11.3%, respectively, and grapefruit production by 13.7% and 4.5%.
As usual, orange will be the most productive citrus, with 3,010,491 tons, i.e. 50.4% of the total. 75% of oranges will correspond to the Navel group.
The production of small citrus fruits would stand at 1,953,954 tons, accounting for 32.7% of the total citrus production, with clementines accounting for 56% of small citrus fruits.
Lemon production is estimated at 918,802 tons, i.e. 15.4% of the total citrus production and the lowest figure of the last seven seasons. Grapefruit production would reach 75,394 tons, accounting for 1.3% of the total citrus production. This would be the lowest grapefruit production of the last three seasons, after the consecutive production records reached in the previous two seasons.
In 2021, there was a 1.7% increase in areas compared to 2020, with a total of 219,096 hectares. The areas devoted to lemon and grapefruit production have experienced the biggest growth, more than 10%, and their greatest boom is in the Region of Murcia, where they increased by almost 7%, and Andalusia (+3.2%).
The Ministry will also present the harvest forecasts released by Fruktia, the new tool based on mathematical models that the ministry developed to know in advance the campaign's productive volume of the sectors that are particularly sensitive to oversupply issues, such as the stone fruit or citrus sector.