Northern Hemisphere Citrus Forecast Drops

Josh McGillCrop Forecast, International

The World Citrus Organisation’s (WCO) Northern Hemisphere citrus production forecast for the 2022–23 season is 25.958 million tons, a 13% decrease from the prior season. Production of every citrus variety in the Northern Hemisphere is forecast to dip by more than 11%.

Northern Hemisphere

The forecast is based on data from Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.

“This year’s crop is one of the smallest of the last seasons, mainly due to climatic issues in leading export countries,” said Eric Imbert from CIRAD. “But despite the decrease in Northern Hemisphere production, the citrus market continues to remain buoyant. Citrus is still one of the leading fruits on the global market.” CIRAD is the French agricultural research and cooperation organization working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions.

Within the European Union, citrus production in Spain and Italy is forecast to decline 15.09% and 20.97%, respectively, while WCO estimates a 10.83% increase for Greece.

In the Southern rim of the Mediterranean, production is expected to decrease in Morocco (-33%), Turkey (-27.24%) and Tunisia (-17.12%), while the volumes are forecast to remain stable in Israel (+0.4%) and increase in Egypt (+8.24%).

The citrus crop in the United States, according to the October U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast, is expected to decrease by 5.16% compared to last season. The Florida orange forecast was down 32% from last season to 28 million boxes, which would be the state’s lowest orange production level in many decades. Florida’s production, already devastated by 17 years of HLB disease, will decline even more because measurements the October forecast was based on were made prior to Hurricane Ian. The storm caused severe fruit drop and tree damage over much of Florida’s citrus belt.

Source: World Citrus Organisation

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