The citrus harvest in Andalucía stands at 2,018,048 tonnes

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Production descends 2.8% with regards to last year

Citrus

The Junta of Andalucía confirms the stability of citrus fruit production in the region. / VF

The citrus harvest forecast from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development of Andalucía for the 2017/2018 season stands at 2,018,048 tonnes. This production volume represents a drop of 2.8% with regards to last season, during which 2,075,236 tonnes were harvested. For the regional government, this figure indicates that production remains stable.

The Secretary General of Agriculture and Food, Rafael Peral, who presented the estimates during the eighth meeting of the citrus board held in San Bartolomé de la Torre (Huelva), said that this figure represents an increase of 1.6% over the average of the last four seasons.

Peral, the regional government’s representative of the Junta of Andalucía also emphasized that the arrival of the season has been characterized by the good development of the crop, with an acceptable flowering and fruit setting in spring, although high temperatures and the lack of rainfall have affected in some way the final expected production. The general secretary added that coming rains could improve fruit calibres.

According to species, of the total amount of citrus estimated, 75% will correspond to sweet oranges (1,505,524 tonnes), 17% will be mandarins (345,695 tonnes) and 6% to lemons (128,756 tonnes). Regarding last season, the productions of sweet orange and mandarin are expected to decrease by 4.3% and 1.7% respectively, while lemon will increase by 13%. At a national level, it is estimated that Andalucía’s orange production will account for 47% of Spain’s total production, mandarin 18% and lemon 13%.

In the analysis carried out according to provinces, the estimated output in 2017/2018 marks Sevilla as the main producer of citrus (792,576 tonnes), with 39% of Andalucía’s total production, followed by Huelva with 523,173 tonnes. Both provinces together, account for 65% of the citrus production in Andalucía. According to the type of crop, Sevilla will be the leading province in sweet orange, accounting for 47% of Andalucía’s total harvest, again followed by Huelva. Mandarin will rank second with 19% of the production. The province of Sevilla expects a decrease of 6% in orange and a considerable increase in mandarin (19.2%). The total citrus production is expected to fall by 3.8%.

For its part, Huelva will be the main mandarin producer in this autonomous community with 57% of the total volume obtained in the region, and the second producer of sweet orange (21%). The forecasts highlight a decrease of 7.1% in sweet orange and a slight increase in mandarin production (3.4%).

Exports

In the season 2016/2017, the citrus harvest in Andalucía amounted to 2,075,236 tonnes, exporting 18% of the production. The volume indicates that in recent years the value of citrus exports from Andalucía have maintained an upward trend, reaching a turnover near 290 million euros in 2016/17 and a marketed volume of over 370,000 tonnes.

According to species, orange exports from Andalucía reached a volume of 275,000 tonnes (184 million euros), accounting for 17.5% of the production. Regarding mandarin, foreign sales exceeded 50,000 tons (44 million euros), which represented 14.3% of the harvest. Lemon reached exports of 36,000 tonnes (50 million euros), corresponding to 31.2% of the production.

Another conclusion reached through this study, is that the general upward trend of the production value is maintained, reaching a total turnover of 868 million euros in 2017.

In addition, the total labour costs for this season are estimated at 6.8 million in daily wages, of which 4.4 million would correspond to production tasks and the rest to fruit and vegetable plants. Harvesting would account for about 62% of the daily wages allocated to production tasks.