Irregular flowering will lead to a 24 per cent drop in Spanish grapefruit production this season according to the latest estimates from Ailimpo.
The forecast pegs the 2017/18 crop at 61,000 tonnes compared with a total of 80,700 tonnes in the previous season. Sizes will be larger than last year due to a reduction in the number of fruit per tree.
“Despite this overall decrease, expectations for the sector are good since the Spanish grapefruit winter season has been confirmed as having the second-greatest volume in the European Union, after Turkey,” Ailimpo said.
Production area remains stable, and the lower production is more marked in older fields, while volumes for younger fields are similar to last season.
“Spanish grapefruit is a distinctly better quality than Turkish grapefruit, which gives us a clear potential for growth. Moreover, given the decrease in supply from Florida and Israel, Spanish grapefruit has clearly become a leading and essential source in the EU for meeting demand,” Ailimpo said.
The 2016/17 season closed with a total harvest of 80,783 tonnes, which was mainly exported to Germany and France, which together accounted for 50 per cent of total sales at 31,000 tonnes.
Exports to non-EU markets rose sharply, with around 2,500 tonnes being shipped to countries such as Switzerland, South Africa, China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The domestic market absorbed around 7,000 tonnes, a slight year-on-year increase due to a greater presence of grapefruit in supermarkets and fruit vendors. A further 10,000 tonnes went for processing.