Storm Gloria causes €46M hit to Valencian citrus - FreshFruitPortal.com

Spain: Valencia estimates €46M citrus losses from devastating storm Gloria

A Spanish farming association estimates that storm Gloria has caused around €46m (US$51m) of losses for the citrus industry in Valencia.

The weather front crashed into eastern Spain at the start of this week, bringing heavy winds, heavy rains, snowfall and huge waves.

Valencian organization AVA-ASAJA said that total losses for the region's agricultural sector were estimated to be €70m. In addition to citrus, the vegetable and livestock sectors were impacted, with an estimated €11m losses in infrastructure alone.

The most heavily affected areas of Valencia are La Ribera, L’Horta Sud, La Safor and La Marina.

AVA-ASAJA said its citrus loss estimate relates to oranges and mandarins, which are now in the second half of their campaign.

The majority of the economic impacts are due to fruit being blown off the trees. In total, around 132,000 metric tons (MT) are estimated to have fallen to the ground - with some orchards reporting up to 80% losses on yet-to-be-harvested fruit.

Flooding and water accumulation in orchards is the second biggest factor behind the losses, with around 500 hectares impacted, while hail also caused widespread damage.

Around 7,000 hectares of vegetable production were also hit, with estimated losses totaling €3.1m. The most affected crops include lettuce, onions, potatoes and artichokes. 

In addition, the €11.8m damages to infrastructure include 600 hectares of greenhouses, nurseries, and nets for citrus, vegetables and other crops.

AVA-ASAJA warned all these damage estimates from storm Gloria were conservative and the cost of damages will surely rise.

It also requested urgent assistance from the government to help growers cover these huge losses, prepare for the following season and prevent future losses from weather-related events.

Photos: AVA-ASAJA