Estimated citrus production in EU and Mediterranean countries

Production in 2012-2013 is estimated to decrease by 5.75% at ca 6.1 Mio T compared with the season 2011/2012. Generally the quality of all citrus fruit will be good. The size of soft citrus and grapefruit is expected to be normal while of oranges and lemons might be smaller. However recent heavy rains in many regions across the country might lead to development in the next weeks of sizes closer to average for lemons, mandarines and oranges, except for grapefruits, which sizes will remain smaller at the beginning of the season, but it is expected to increase in the coming weeks. Spain expects to start picking oranges and grapefruit at the usual timing, while soft citrus (clementines and navelinas) were 1 week later and lemons 2 weeks later. Growers already started picking lemons, and will also start picking grapefruit next week.
Climatic conditions: it is expected a very little or normal damages from frost, droughts, no damage from hails and winds and heavy temperature for soft citrus and oranges, and normal for lemons and grapefruit. However frosts in February 2012 affected 2012/2013 production of lemons, oranges and soft citrus in some areas.
Market outlook: no citrus fruit (from Argentina) in stocks on the European Market, while Turkish Interdonado varieties are expected to be down in volume, leaving the start of season with good market expectation.
Lemons: reduction of 12% in the forecast should have an impact on the volumes in the market – no oversupply. The market prices in summer were quite good for Argentinean lemons. Processing is expected to be lower due to the smaller production. A very good demand is expected for Verna.

Red oranges: due to big storms and hails in March 2012, Italian production is estimating a decrease of production, on average of about 35-40%, for the late varieties: from March to May the loss of oranges will be up to 45%. The sizing is good, but probably the early varieties will be on delay in ripening, while late varieties will be ready in advance.
Regular oranges: it is expected to decrease by 10-15%, however of good quality.
Lemons: the lack of production is about 15%. Quality of fruit is expected to be good.
Mandarines: the production will increase by around 10%. Size of the variety Avana is good, but unfortunately planted area of this variety is decreasing every year.

There are no remarks on quality so far, the colouring is good and there are no major problems due to diseases, and this is mainly caused by the favourable weather conditions during summer. The start of the season has a delay of about a week for lemons and grapefruit due to the warm weather conditions. The picking date of soft citrus and oranges will be on average compared with the previous seasons. The size of all fruit will be normal, except of soft citrus, which will be larger.
Cyprus had a very bad season in 2011/2012, particularly for soft citrus and there are no signs so far showing that this season will be better. Only for Red Grapefruit prospects are a bit better as Cyprus is starting the season without any stocks from the SH countries. The prices of grapefruit will be higher, while of other citrus fruit stable.

For lemon and grapefruit, the industry estimate coincides with official initial estimates, while in the case of oranges and clementines, the sector anticipate this year a (significant) decline of production while the official forecast would suggest a stable production. The picking date of citrus fruit will be on average compared with previous seasons. Fruits are expected to be of good colouring, with a very small impact of diseases. The size of all fruit will be normal, except of oranges, which are expected to be larger. Climatic conditions were favourable for citrus fruit and did not have any major impact on the quality of fruit, except for soft citrus, which was damaged by hail.
Market outlook: it is expected for stable price trends for all citrus fruits, except soft citrus, which will be higher than last season.

Official statistics and forecast from Turkey are not available at the current time. However it could be anticipated that Turkish production of oranges and soft citrus would be rather similar to the previous season, while the lemon production (mainly the early varieties Interdonato – but also the other varieties as of November for Lamas) and grapefruit (Ruby red) would be significantly lower this year due to unfavourable climatic conditions. The current wet weather is not further satisfactory.


Season 2012/13 has started in good condition, in terms of fruit volumes, quality and sizes. The markets conditions look much more promising than last October (2011), mainly because huge volumes of grapefruit from RSA were blocking the markets until end of December. Economic conditions in some countries within the E.U are concerning, and might influence exports to some destinations. We shall see again, like last season, pressure on the Russian market. Easy peelers that suffered from small sizes last year are in much better condition this season that is why Israel predicts lower production, but better fresh supply. The production of soft citrus, oranges and lemons will be mainly for the local market, while it is expected to export higher volumes of grapefruit than last season.

The Moroccan production figures as presented in the global overview has been calculated from an extrapolation of the expected export potential as presented in the chart below. In regard to export potential, it is also to be noted that the domestic market is very active and might be an interesting alternative and hence competed with exports.

The Moroccan picking season is delayed due to climatic conditions and the citrus fruit production experienced five successive waves of heat during the summer, affecting in particular the soft citrus category. Soft citrus will have a delay of three weeks for picking, while other citrus will be on average of previous seasons. Sizing, diseases and colouring of soft citrus, oranges and lemons are expected to be on average. In regard to Morocco late, a tentative figure is provided but will be revised when the season progress.

Source: Freshfel-SHAFFE

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