European Union (EU) orange juice (OJ) production is forecast to climb almost 8 percent in 2020-21 compared to the previous year, to 87,987 metric tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. The forecast is in line with the expected growth in the volume of European oranges destined for processing this season, especially from Spain and Italy. Spain is the major orange processor in the union followed by Italy. About 20 percent of Spanish orange production is used in processing.
While OJ is the most popular juice within the EU, it competes with other non-alcoholic drinks and other fruit juices. In recent years, such competition has effectively reduced consumption of OJ in Europe. However, consumption is forecast to grow slightly in 2020-21 as the result of increased domestic supplies and growing consumer interest for immune-strengthening products following the COVID-19 crisis.
The EU is a net importer of OJ. However, during the last decade, imports of the juice declined by 17 percent due to the growth in domestic production and the downward trend of OJ consumption. During 2019-20, imports of the juice grew by 4 percent to stand at 686,223 metric tons.
Brazil is by far the leading supplier of OJ to the EU market, representing nearly 91 percent of total imports, followed by Mexico, South Africa and Argentina. The United States used to be the third largest OJ supplier to the union, but imports of the U.S. juice have declined since 2018. In 2019-20, the value of EU imports of U.S. OJ dropped 27 percent to $2 million due to lower U.S. production, increased competition and European retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. juice.
In the past decade, EU exports increased by 45 percent. In 2019-20, the union exported 66,805 metric tons of OJ.
See the full FAS report on EU citrus here.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service
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