European Union (EU) orange production is forecast at 6.1 million metric tons (MMT) for 2021–22 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That’s 6% lower than the previous season and 3.3% lower than the EU’s 10-year average of 6.3 MMT.
Spain and Italy represent 80% of the EU’s total production of oranges. The remaining 20% is distributed among other member states, such as Greece and Portugal.
In 2021–22, total estimated EU orange planted area may decline 0.8% compared to the previous season, to 276,245 hectares.
Spain is the primary orange producer in the EU. Spain’s 2021–22 orange production is forecast to remain flat (up 0.4%) compared to the previous season at 3.5 MMT. Over the last decade, Spain has reduced its orange planted area by almost 8%. In 2020, Spanish planted area for oranges stood at 141,130 hectares, the highest orange planted area in the EU.
Italy is the second largest European orange producer after Spain. Italy’s 2021–22 orange production is forecast to significantly decline from the previous season, to 1.5 MMT. This is due to floods that hit Sicily at the end of October that damaged orange groves.
Greece’s 2021–22 orange production is expected to decrease by approximately 17% compared to the previous year. Greek orange production in 2021–22 is forecast at 750,000 metric tons (MT).
In 2021–2022, Portuguese production is expected to drop by almost 10% to 320,170 MT compared to the previous season. Nevertheless, over the last decade, Portugal has increased its orange production by 55% with more efficient and irrigated citrus farms.
FRESH VS. PROCESSED
Approximately 80% of EU orange supply is destined for fresh consumption and around 10% is destined for processing. In 2021–22, fresh orange consumption is expected to decrease compared to the previous season due to an estimated shortage in orange supply.
In 2021–22, the volume of oranges for processing (mainly for orange juice and byproducts) is expected to decline almost 10% compared to the previous period because of the drop in EU orange production. Spain is the major orange processor in the EU, followed by Italy, and around 20% of Spanish orange production is used in processing. In Spain, there are more than
30 citrus processors for both domestic and international markets.
The EU is a net importer of oranges to meet its domestic and export demands. Following a significant rise in EU orange production compared to the previous season in 2020–21, the EU imported 10% less oranges than the previous season, standing at 858,355 MT.
South Africa and Egypt continued to be the leading suppliers of oranges to the EU. For 2021–22, EU orange imports may rise due to the expected decline in EU orange supplies.
Spain is a major citrus supplier to the EU. Eighty-five percent of Spain’s orange exports are
destined to other EU markets.
In 2020–21, the volume of EU orange exports declined 1.7% to 410,314 MT. However, EU orange exports were valued 6.5% higher at $388 million.
Source: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service
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