As the 2022-2023 citrus campaign comes to an end, La Unió Llauradora expressed "its concern about the continued loss of harvest production in the Valencian Community over the last three campaigns and most likely also for the 2023-2024 campaign."
"Production this year has been just over 2.9 million tons, 11% lower than last year and 17% lower than the average of the campaigns since the beginning of the century. So far in the 21st century, only the 2005-06 campaign had a lower production, with 2.8 million tons. In the state context, there has also been an 18% decline in this campaign.”
“The lack of profitability and the consequences of climate change are the main causes of this decline in productive capacity. Last year, another 6,151 hectares of citrus were abandoned in the Valencian Community, i.e. 4% more than in 2021."
The average price paid to producers in the fields stood at €0.37/kg, i.e. 28% higher than last year. The average price of the fruit leaving the warehouse stood at €0.95/kg, which is 15% higher than the average of the last five campaigns. Gross revenues, without taking into account discards and the increase in costs, amounted to 1,069.1 million euro, i.e. 16% over the previous campaign. However, La Unió considers that this increase in prices, especially at the end of the season, "does not compensate for the reduction in production and especially for the exaggerated increase in production costs. When we include discards, damage from pests, and increased costs in the equation, the income statement is practically the same as that of the 2021-2022 campaign.”
"The continuous decline in consumption, which hasn't recovered since the beginning of the pandemic, is also very worrying. Spanish households' global consumption of citrus fruits, from September 2022 to February 2023, has decreased by 19% over the same period of the previous campaign and by 17% compared to the average of the previous five campaigns. La Unió is committed to the external promotion of our citrus fruits and the promotion of domestic consumption."
The agricultural organization believes that "the Government of Spain should work to achieve improvements for citrus producers. It is necessary to consider citrus as a sensitive product and also to adopt mirror clauses providing for reciprocity in the use of plant protection products for products imported from third countries."
For more information:
La Unió Llauradora