Mandarin Crop Losing Ground in Europe

Josh McGillInternational, Mandarins, Trade

In 2021–22, European Union (EU) mandarin production is forecast to decline 7.5% from the previous year to 2.9 million metric tons (MMT), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. EU mandarin production may also be almost 5.5% lower than the 10-year average production of 3.1 MMT. The shortage in EU mandarin production is mainly the result of expected decreases in Spain, EU’s major mandarin producer.

Mandarin Crop
(Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash)

EU planted area for mandarins may remain stable at 152,400 hectares. During the 2011–2020 period, the EU reduced its mandarin planted area by 8%. Spanish mandarin planted area decreased by 13%, and Italian area decreased by 8%. Conversely, during this period, Greek mandarin planted area rose 43%, and Portugal’s mandarin planted area climbed 11%.

Spain’s 2021–22 mandarin production is forecast to decline 10%, due to unfavorable weather. Mandarins represent 31% of total Spanish citrus production. Around 50% of Spanish
mandarins are Clementines and 7% are Satsumas.

Italy’s mandarin production is more than 80% seedless Clementines. Italy’s 2021–22 mandarin production is forecast to remain flat at 660,000 metric tons (MT).

Greece’s 2021–22 tangerine production is expected to decrease by 4.1% to 165,000 MT. Clementine is the major tangerine variety grown in Greece.

EU mandarins are mainly consumed fresh. EU fresh mandarins for consumption and processing are forecast to decrease in 2021–22 in line with the expected drop in supply.

Spain is the major consumer of mandarins in the EU, mainly seedless Clementines, for
both fresh consumption and processing. Last season, Spanish mandarin consumption in households grew 11% due to perceived health benefits. Italy and Portugal also consume large quantities of mandarins.

The EU is a net importer of fresh mandarins. During 2020–21, due to higher domestic consumption, EU imports of mandarins rose 3.6%.

During 2020–21, EU exports of mandarins rose 6%. EU’s main export market destinations were the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ukraine, Belarus, Norway and Canada.

Until 2012–13, the United States was the third major export destination for EU mandarins. As the top global supplier of mandarins to the United States, Spain shipped around 50,000 MT worth of mandarins valued at around $55 million. However, since then, South America, North Africa and South Africa have surpassed the presence of Spanish mandarins in the U.S. market. In 2020–21, EU exports to the United States were almost negligible. In 2021–22, EU mandarin exports are forecast to decline due to the expected decline of EU mandarin production.

See the full report on European Union citrus.

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

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