According to the latest report on Enhanced Monitoring of EU Citrus Imports recently published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (MAPA), in 2021 the European Union imported a total of 2,010,635 tons of citrus, i.e. 2.5% less volume than in the previous year but 4.6% more volume than the average of the last five years.
In 2021, South Africa was the EU's main external supplier of citrus with 793,567 tons, i.e. 1.4% more than in 2020 and 26.1% more than the average of the last five years (2016/20).
It was followed by Egypt with 339,821 tons in 2021 (+19.2% and +43.1%, respectively), Turkey with 229,102 tons (-11.0% and -7.8%), Morocco with 175,719 tons (-1.9% and -9.4%), and Argentina with 140,279 tons (0.0% and -26.6%).
The orange was the citrus that the EU imported the most from third countries, as the EU imported 906,664 tons of oranges in 2021, i.e. 4% less volume than in 2020 but 8% more volume than the average of the last five years.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, based on data from September 2021 to February 2022, the EU has imported 375,582 tons of orange, which is 0.8% more than in the same period of the previous season and 7.1% less than the average in the 2016/20 period.
Small citrus fruit
The second category with the most entries corresponded to small citrus fruits, with 451,721 tons in 2021, i.e. 11.4% more than last year and 34.7% more than the average of the last five years.
In the last quarter of 2021, the EU received 151,549 tons of small citrus fruits, which is 39.3% more than in the same period of 2020 and 47.8% more than the average in the 2016/20 period.
Last year the EU imported 407,042 tons of lemons from third countries (+4.0% compared to 2020 and 9.5% compared to the average of the last five years). The largest volume in the 2013/21 period was achieved in 2018 (434,058 tons).
In the first four months of the 2021/22 campaign, Europe has imported almost 144,000 tons of lemons, i.e. 39.8% more than during the same period of the previous season and +30.9% more than the average of the previous five years.
Grapefruit imports fell to 245,208 tons in 2021, the lowest figure since the first data available in the report (2013); this volume is 23.4% lower than in 2020 and 24.4% lower than the average recorded in the last five years.