The citrus harvest will fall by 20.3% in the region of Valencia

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VALENCIA FRUITS.

The output of citrus in the Comunitat Valenciana for the 2017/2018 season sets the production volume at 3,143,984 tonnes

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The citrus harvest will decrease in the Comunitat Valenciana.

The citrus production output in the Comunitat Valenciana for the season 2017/2018 is of 3,143,984 tonnes. This figure represents a decrease of 20.3%, or 800,000 tonnes less on the balance reached in 2016/2017, as shown in the estimates carried out by the Regional Ministry of Agriculture of the regional government, the Generalitat Valenciana.

On the commercial front, the first quotes, which have been advanced to the month of July, are showing more optimistic prospects regarding prices. In this sense, the regional minister of agriculture, Elena Cebrián, hasemphasised that the reduced forecast for fruit on the field is causing markets to be more active than in the previous season and she has assured that, if good quality levels are maintained, “the value and prices will be positive.”

If the forecasts from the regional Ministry of Agriculture are met this year’s citrus harvest in the region of Valencia will be similar to 2015/2016, but with higher yields. In general, this decrease is mainly due to the natural alternation found and required in citrus cultivation, the reduction of the cultivated area dedicated to this fruit and the increasing production of other crops like kaki.

Another reason for this production decline is the weather, namely the abundant rains recorded at the end of 2016 and the high temperatures in May that affected fruit setting, which in some areas was sparse and irregular.

According to the data offered by the regional Agriculture Minister, Elena Cebrián, good fruit quality and calibre are expected, since the rains in late August and early September have benefited the sector.

Volume according to groups

The volume figures according to groups show a decrease of 24.1% in the case of mandarins, which is about 427,970 tonnes less than in the previous season, with a drop in Satsumas of 31%.

Clementine point to a reduction of 29.3% and a harvest decrease is expected in all varieties: the early Clementine harvest will decrease by 39,050 tonnes and clemenules will register a decrease of 243,225 tonnes.

In the case of oranges, the harvest forecast is expected to be 17.6% lower than the previous season, with a special emphasis on early Navel orange.

Regarding the lemon production, the regional minister indicated that it will descend by 16% with regards to the previous season and Verna lemons will be affected by the most pronounced decrease of 48.7% less, which represents 42,624 tonnes less than in 2016/2017.

An increase of 15.4% is expected in grapefruit, which nears 25,684 tonnes, due to the higher yields obtained from this crop.

According to provinces, Cebrián indicated that the harvest reduction expected for the whole of the Comunitat Valenciana, will be distributed throughout the region, although Valencia is the main province responsible for it. Of the 799,229 tonnes decrease in citrus fruit that is expected to occur this season, 57.5% corresponds to Valencia, 23.6% to Castellón and the remaining 18.9% to Alicante.

The regional minister of Agriculture has finally noted that the Comunitat Valenciana is the leading national producer of citrus fruit, accounting for 55% of Spain’s total production.