European Orange Production to Decline

Josh McGillCrop Forecast, International

European Union (EU) orange production is projected at nearly 5.8 million metric tons (MMT) for 2022–23, almost a 13% reduction from the previous season, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) report. Reductions are expected mainly in Spain and slightly in Italy and Portugal.

Photo by Hanna on Unsplash

Orange production in Spain is projected to decline by 22.8%, amounting to 2.895 MMT of oranges. Adverse and extreme weather conditions occurred in the areas of Spanish citrus production, namely Valencia and Andalusia, during flowering and fruit set due to excess of rainfalls in spring 2022. Spain’s production is expected to be almost 20% lower than the average for the last five years.

After several consecutive years of economic slowdown, citrus farmers are increasingly leaving orange

production for more profitable products. However, Spanish orange planted area has been steadily

rebounding since 2018, amounting to approximately 143,000 hectares in 2022.

Italy is the second largest European orange producer. Sicily and Calabria are Italy’s main orange-producing areas, accounting for approximately 63% and 19% of total production, respectively. Italy’s 2022–23 orange production is expected to slightly decrease from the previous season, amounting to 1.7 MMT. The decline is due to the drought in Sicily that mostly affected blonde and late varieties.

Greece’s 2022–23 orange production is expected to increase by approximately 9% compared to the previous year due to normal fruit set in most varieties. Peloponnese and Etoloakarnania are the main orange-producing areas.

Portuguese production in 2022–23 is expected to slightly

decline compared to the previous season due to unfavorable weather conditions and extreme drought. Nevertheless, over the last decade, Portugal has increased its orange production with more efficient and irrigated citrus farms. Seventy-five percent of Portuguese orange production is in Algarve, the southern region.

In 2022–23, EU imports of oranges are anticipated to grow compared to previous season levels because of the significant reduction in EU orange production. The major orange supplier to the EU is Spain. Main non-EU import origins include South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Zimbabwe and Argentina.

EU orange exports in 2022–23 are expected to slightly decline due to the orange production shortage. Main destinations for EU oranges, primarily exported by Spain, include the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Serbia and the Middle East.

Read more on the state of the European Union citrus industry here.

Source: USDA FAS