Mandarin Production Rises Sharply in EU

Ernie NeffInternational

mandarin

Mandarin production in the European Union (EU) in 2020-21 is forecast to rise 21% from the previous year, to 3.4 million metric tons. The forecast, reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, is almost 10% higher than the union’s 9-year average of 3.1 million metric tons. The higher production this season is mainly the result of expected increases in Spain and Italy, where weather conditions were favorable.

Spain is Europe’s leading mandarin producer with 2.36 million metric tons expected this season. Other producers are Italy with 825,000 metric tons, Greece with 178,000 metric tons, Portugal with 34,000 metric tons and Cyprus with 30,000 metric tons. All those countries are expecting higher mandarin production this year than last year.

Spain’s main mandarin-producing areas are the regions of Valencia, Andalusia and Catalonia. Spain continues to develop new early and late seedless varieties to extend fruit availability throughout the year.

Italy’s tangerine production consists of more than 80% seedless clementines and nearly 20% mandarins. Its main producing areas are Calabria, Sicily and Puglia.

Mandarins are mainly consumed fresh in the European Union. During the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers sought tangerines for their health benefits and as good natural sources of vitamin C.

The EU is a net importer of mandarins. Imports totaled 558,507 metric tons in 2019-20 with a value of $657 million. South Africa and Morocco continue to be the leading suppliers to the market, followed by Turkey, Israel and Peru. In 2019-20, the volume of imports from the United States decreased 2.6% and was valued at $6 million.

During 2019-20, European exports of mandarins declined 30% to 171,825 metric tons with a value of $201 million. That significant decrease in exports was mainly due to higher European consumption as a result of COVID-19 and shorter domestic supply. The main export destinations were Switzerland, the Ukraine, Norway, Canada and Belarus. The United States was a large export market for the EU until 2012-13. Major global competition combined with U.S. tariffs on Spanish mandarins have discouraged shipments to the U.S. In 2019-20, exports to the U.S. were almost negligible.     

See the full report on EU citrus production.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service

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