The World Citrus Organization (WCO) presented its first crop production forecast for the Northern Hemisphere 2020–21 citrus season during the recent Global Citrus Congress Live.
Philippe Binard, the general delegate of the WCO, presented the Northern Hemisphere production forecast, prepared with information from industry associations in Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States (California and Florida).
The 2020–21 Northern Hemisphere citrus crop is expected to reach 28,737,570 metric tons, representing a slight decrease of 1 percent compared to the 2019–20 crop. According to Binard, the smaller volume is the direct result of increased droughts throughout production regions as well as alternance in some countries compared to last season.
Most citrus categories showed decreases in production, according to the estimate. Oranges are expected to decrease by 2 percent, lemons by 7 percent and grapefruit by 9 percent. Soft citrus is the only category that is expected to see a year-on-year rise in the Northern Hemisphere, with an expected 5 percent increase.
Looking at production by region, European production is expected to grow in volume, with 12 percent increases recorded for both Italy and Spain. Greece is expected to experience a 1 percent decrease.
In the Southern rim of the Mediterranean, the crop forecast indicates an 8 percent decrease in volume for Egypt, a 4 percent decline for Israel and a 15 percent decrease for Turkey, compared to 2019 volumes. The United States is also expected to have lower production. Binard says the United States is predicted to have 9 percent less volume, with California down by 5 percent and Florida down by 14 percent.
On the other hand, Morocco and Tunisia are expected to experience significant gains in their citrus crops this year, up by 13 percent and 20 percent, respectively, compared to 2019 figures.
This article was written by Ashley Robinson, AgNet Media communications intern in Gainesville, Florida.