The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food has forecast that Spain will produce 5.754 million tons of citrus in the 2023/2024 campaign, which began on September 1. This figure, obtained from information provided by the main producing autonomous communities, is 0.4% higher than the production achieved in the last campaign, but 14.4% lower than the average of the last five years. This will be the second lowest harvest in the last 11 years, after last season.
The low forecast is due to the drought and extreme weather conditions recorded this year, especially because of the lack of water availability, the abnormally high temperatures recorded during the flowering and fruit-setting phases, and the heat waves in later stages that have required irrigation restrictions in some regions.
According to the forecast, Spain will produce 2,643 million tons of oranges, i.e. 8.2% less than last season and almost 24% (-832,000 tons) below the average of the last five years.
The orange will be, as usual, the most produced citrus fruit, accounting for 45.9% of all citrus production. However, it will lose almost six points of representativeness compared to the average. 72% of oranges will correspond to the Navel group.
Small citrus production will amount to 1,853 million tons, practically the same amount as in the last season, but 12.7% below the average of the last five years. This product would account for 32.2% of all citrus production. Satsumas would account for 4.3% of this group, clementines for 54%, and the rest of mandarins and hybrids for 41.7%.
Meanwhile, lemon production, which experienced a drop in production last season, will recover and reach a record 1,167,444 tons. This is 28% more than in the last harvest and 13% above the average of the last five years.
Grapefruit production is expected to stand at 79,582 tons, which is 2% higher than last season and 2.4% higher than the average.
These figures were communicated to representatives of the sector during a meeting of the sectoral committee chaired by the general director of Agricultural Production and Markets, Esperanza Orellana.
Spain is the EU's leading citrus producer and the world's sixth-largest citrus producer. Spain's export production reaches an average value of 3,300 million euros per season, which makes it the world's leading marketer of fresh citrus fruits, with 25% of global exports.