According to La Unió de Llauradors i Ramaders, this season, the Valencian Community will produce 13% fewer citrus than in the previous campaign. It's the fourth year in a row that the region's production volume is lower than its average production. However, La Unió stated, citrus production in Castellon is expected to increase by 10%, a recovery after its 28% drop last year (38% in the case of Clemenules, the province's flagship variety, which accounts for 70% of the citrus area in the province).
Despite this increase in production over 2021, the truth is that Castellon is estimated to obtain just over 600,000 tons of citrus, a volume that is still very scarce. According to La Unió de Llauradors, there are several factors that do not permit increasing production. The weather issues are the main reason. The crops are unable to produce the appropriate caliber because of the heat of the last months. In addition, the rains affected the crops during the flowering periods. Other factors for this steady decline in production include the progressive abandonment of land, high production costs, and the old age of trees.
Despite everything, this could be a good year for the province in the citrus market. According to the USDA, the northern hemisphere countries will produce less citrus, which translates into fewer products for the market. Spain will also produce less: Andalusia has had irrigation problems in some areas, and Murcia and Catalonia have also suffered a decrease in their production capacity. "Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Italy, and Greece, which are competing countries, are also going to produce less. This can be good as the market won't be saturated and prices at source could increase," stated the secretary of La Unió.
In fact, if the demand and consumption of local citrus were normal, at some point we could be talking about a citrus deficit, stated Carles Peris. The secretary of La Unió said that the Valencian Community would produce just over three million tons this year which -without consulting official data- could possibly be the second-lowest volume ever achieved in a campaign.