Spain Pulls Down Europe’s Grapefruit Forecast

Ernie NeffCrop Forecast, Grapefruit

A projected decline in Spain’s grapefruit crop in 2019-20 will lead to an 11 percent decline in the all-European Union (EU) grapefruit forecast compared to last season. EU total production is pegged at 96,720 metric tons (MT). Other EU grapefruit-producing countries will increase or maintain production. That’s according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). The FAS also provided an overview of the EU grapefruit industry.    

Spain’s EU-leading grapefruit production is forecast to decline 15.5 percent from last year to 68,100 MT. Spain’s top grapefruit-producing areas include Murcia, Andalusia and Valencia. Ruby Red is the main grapefruit variety planted in Spain.

Cyprus, the EU’s second largest grapefruit producer, is forecast to see production climb 1,000 MT this season, to 20,000 MT. White Marsh seedless, mostly grown in the Limassol area, is the leading Cypriot grapefruit variety.

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Italy’s grapefruit production is expected to remain flat from last season at 5,l60 MT. Greece and Portugal are projected to have slight gains to 3,200 MT and 260 MT, respectively.

EU grapefruit are mainly consumed fresh, with consumption significantly exceeding production. Imports comprise around 75 percent of the EU’s total grapefruit supply. During 2018-19, EU imports decreased 13 percent compared to the previous year, to 324,603 MT, valued at $285 million. China, South Africa, Turkey and Israel are the leading suppliers to the EU market. Imports from the United States dropped 11 percent to 13,000 MT with a value of $17 million. Due to the expected drop in EU production, imports are expected to increase in 2019-20.

During 2018-19, the EU exported 16,255 MT of grapefruit, a 7 percent decrease from the previous year with a value of $17 million. EU exports shipped mainly to Switzerland, Ukraine and Belarus.

See the full FAS report on EU citrus here.

The Florida Department of Citrus in May projected that sales of fresh Florida citrus, including grapefruit, would increase in the 2019-20 season. See that report here.

Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

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