Spain tallies up citrus losses from hailstorm

Top Stories
Spain tallies up citrus losses from hailstorm

An estimated 70,000 tons (MT) of late-season clementines were affected by the unseasonal hailstorm that struck eastern Spain last month, amounting to around 70% of the expected crop in some areas, according to preliminary estimates of the damages.clementines_ffp

Unlike the very warm June experienced in Spain’s Valencia region during 2012, June 2013 was the coldest since 1992, with temperatures at times dropping to 0.6°C, regional daily Levante reported.

At a press conference this week in the region, agricultural insurer Agroseguro said that 16 of its inspectors had visited the worst affected areas of Valencia’s northern Castellón province and had concluded that between 2,500 ha and 3,000 ha of citrus groves had been damaged.

Agroseguro’s regional director, Manuel González told reporters that the inspectors also found that between 60,000 to 70,000 MT of citrus had been adversely affected by the hail, adding that expected compensation payments to growers could reach €6 million (US$7.8 million).

The insurer said damages in the most affected areas of Castellón, Nules and Vilavella, extended to 70% and 100% of the expected citrus harvest respectively.

According to Valencian agricultural association La Unió de Llauradors i Ramaders, the late clementine variety, Clemenule, was the principal product affected by the hailstorm, which struck northern areas of the region of May 21.

The Valencian Socialist Party, which is allied to Spain’s former governing Socialist Party, last week called on the regional government of Valencia to declare the worst affected parts of Castellón disaster zones.

Subscribe to our newsletter