Europe leads volume growth for Northern Hemisphere citrus

Countries More News Top Stories
Europe leads volume growth for Northern Hemisphere citrus

As the Southern Hemisphere's citrus season comes to an end, Freshfel-SHAFFE brought together the world's top producers to evaluate the season ahead up north.

The Oct. 14 teleconference included representatives from Spain, Italy, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, the U.S. and South Africa. Further input was provided from Turkey, Morocco, Argentina and Uruguay.

Total citrus production for the Northern Hemisphere was forecast to grow 1% year-on-year in the 2013-14 season. While total U.S. production was expected to drop 10%, European countries were expected to see 7% growth.

Mediterranean countries expected 6% growth.

All European countries evaluated were slated for growth. Italy was forecast for the greatest volume growth at 16%, followed by Cyprus (11%), Greece (8%) and Spain (3%).

In the Mediterranean, Morocco was forecast for 25% growth and Israel at 14% growth. Turkey and Egypt were expected to stay stagnant.

The main top concerns for Northern Hemisphere producers this coming season were identified as competition from other fruit, quality and declining consumption.

Production in Europe

Spain is forecast to increase volume by 3% this season to 6.5 million tons (MT). Lemons should have the greatest growth at 11%, contrasted by a 7.5% drop in grapefruit.

Spanish mandarins saw an early start to the season and have experienced smaller sizes.

Italy should have a strong season across the board, with all citrus categories indicating double-digit percentage growth. Oranges are forecast at 18% growth, a return to the level seen two years ago.

Overall growth for Italy is set at 16% for 3.7 million MT.

Production in the Mediterranean

The Israeli season has started well in terms of condition, volume, quality and size. The nation expected to grow 14%, up to 561,500 MT.

The market for Israeli grapefruit continues to be poor, encouraging growers to pull up plantations. The soft citrus market is good for quality fruit.

Morocco is expected to recover after a low volume year with 25% growth and an estimated 1.9 million MT.

United States

Statistics for the U.S. season have been complicated by the partial government shutdown this past month. The United States Department of Agriculture had not yet released its citrus crop forecast for the 2013-14 season. It was unclear when the data would become available.

Private estimates out of Florida noted the impact of citrus greening and unpredictable fruit drop. Slight decline was expected for all categories.

Texas grapefruit volume was expected to stay on par with last year at 5 million boxes.

California anticipated a 2% drop in navel oranges. Valencia oranges and grapefruit were expected to remain similar to last year, while tangerines were forecast for a 12% increase.

Southern Hemisphere wrap-up

Despite export complications in Europe, South Africa reported a positive season for Valencia oranges. Total production for the nation was up 9% at 2.5 million MT. Exports totaled 1.6 million MT.

Argentina ended its season early, in part due to drought and frost. Overall percentage growth was not reported, but the climate was considered poor for exports.

The South American nation produced a reported 2.2 million MT, of which 406,300 MT were exported.

Uruguay experienced recovery from last year's frost, reporting good size and quality for most varieties.



Subscribe to our newsletter