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Spanish citrus crop to increase to 6.5 million tonnes

Staff writer |
Unlike the previous citrus season, expectations are that the 2013/2014 season's citrus harvest will increase. According to data by the European Association of Producers, FRESHFEL, the harvest will amount to nearly 6.5 million tonnes, about 3% more than in the last season.

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A forecast that is very similar to the appraisals for the Spanish main producing areas that they published between September and October.

According to preliminary estimates by FRESHFEL, production volumes, which vary as the campaign progresses, have increased in general terms in products such as oranges, tangerines and limes, whereas the grapefruit crops will go down over the previous season.

The orange production is expected to amount to 3.397 million tonnes, tangerines, 2,144,000 tonnes, and limes, 910,000 tonnes, while the grapefruit, which amounted to 53,000 tonnes in the 2012/2013 season, will only amount to 45,000 tonnes this season.

According to data from the Citrus Management Committee, Spanish citrus exports have recorded three consecutive records in the last three years, largely surpassing the 3.5 million tonnes each year and almost reaching 4 million tonnes last season. In addition, in 2012/2013, the total exports of the orange surpassed that of the tangerine group, after eight seasons in which the total export of small citrus surpassed the total export of oranges.

This was due to the growth in production and export of table oranges - Navel variety - and the late recovery in production and export of Navelinas after the frosts experienced two seasons ago.

Europe remains the largest market for Spanish exports. According to data from Fepex, up to August 2013, Spain had exported 1,366,723 tonnes of oranges, 650,160,000 tonnes of tangerines, 362,562 tonnes of limes and 39,350 tonnes of grapefruits. The Valencia region remains the first Spanish citrus exporter with 75% of all Spanish citrus exports.

Germany, France and Poland are the main destinations for Spanish citrus, followed by Italy, which, even though it is also a producing country, imports three times the amount of citrus that Spain exports to Russia and the United States, according to information from Citrus Management Committee.

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