Italy: CLAM expectations for the 2013-2014 citrus fruit campaign

The recent evolution of the international citrus markets will be analysed during the General assembly of the Comité de Liaison de l'Agrumiculture Méditerranéenne (C.L.A.M.), held on the 21st and 22nd October in Madrid. Representatives from citrus producing countries will report on the data regarding production, sale (especially exports), processing and internal consumption.

Assessment on 2012-13 campaign
In Italy, citrus production in 2012-13 decreased because of the weather, which damaged the structures.

As regards oranges, a 13% drop was recorded with respect to the previous four years, with a 37% drop for late productions. Such conditions created a balance between demand and supply, favoured by the good quality of fruit. Prices were higher for pigmented productions and in particular for blood oranges from Sicily, which also registered an increase in exports. Destinations were mainly markets, as the quantity of produce destined to processing was reduced.

Overall, the year was positive for all operators thanks to a lower demand, as it usually makes prices drop. 

The production of clementines was slightly higher. Despite the fact that less produce was harvested due to rainfall during January 2012, the quantities of the previous campaign are confirmed, with a 5% increase. The quality was good both in terms of organoleptic qualities and grades. At the beginning, prices were higher than €0.40. It must be stressed that the clementine segment is open to innovations - these enabled some to reach prices over €0.50 for new varieties.

The trend of lemon production was rather stable in terms of both quantities and prices (€0.30/kg on average), with the exception of April and May, when prices went over €0.50 thanks to the lack of non-European produce. Lemons are mainly sent to markets, as less produce is sent to the industry because of the low prices (€0.15-0.20) and the good quality of the fruit. Nonetheless, fewer lemons are exported outside of the EU because of competition from Spain, Greece and Turkey.

Expectations for the 2013-2014 campaign
Expectations for the 2013-14 citrus production in Italy are positive because of the weather, which should lead to a better quality and better quantities with respect to the previous year.

The quantity of oranges should increase from 13% to 28% with respect to the 2012-13 campaign. The quality is good except for those plants affected by the CTV. Northern Europe is particularly interested in the pigmented varieties, whereas the volumes for the internal market are confirmed. The year seems good, except for those moments when there will be more produce than needed and prices will be affected. New markets seem interested, a testimony to the high quality of the domestic produce.

The quality of clementines should be higher than the previous campaign, even though it won't be the same for all areas. Overall, the same volumes as last year. In the past few months, the European market seemed to be more interested in the Italian produce because of its taste.

There should be a 23% increase in lemon production with respect to last year. Quantities are concentrated between January and April, whereas in the other periods volumes should be average. Quality is excellent. In addition to domestic destinations, European markets are also interested in Italian lemons. These markets seek high quality products and are very interested in organic lemons.

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