According to Freshfel Europe, citrus production in the Northern Hemisphere, comprising the Mediterranean basin and the US, is expected to reach 21.9m tonnes this year, an increase of 0.5 per cent over last year.
Production in the Mediterranean basin is anticipated to hit 17.4m tonnes. Spain is expecting a 20 per cent decrease in its citrus production, which will fall to 5.4m tonnes, while Morocco and Israel are both predicting a 1 per cent decrease.
On the other hand, production increases are expected in Turkey (9 per cent), Egypt (5 per cent), Greece (8 per cent) and Cyprus (3 per cent).
Italy is set to experience a recovery of production, according to Freshfel, with a 36 per cent increase, bringing the country back to levels registered in the 2007/2008 season.
On the other side of the Atlantic, US production is expected to increase by 2 per cent to just under 4.5m tonnes.
Examining the data by category, orange production is forecast to be 0.9 per cent higher than last season, although volumes in the Mediterranean Basin are set to fall by 1.2 per cent.
The drop is due to a fall in production in Spain (27 per cent), Israel (19 per cent) and Morocco (10 per cent), more than cancelling out expected increases in Italy (53 per cent) and Egypt (5 per cent). Production is the US is forecast to rise by 11 per cent.
Easy-peeler production is expected to be 1.5 per cent up overall due to the 15 per cent increase in the US. Production levels in the Mediterranean Basin are expected to remain constant overall, with Italy (33 per cent), Israel (15 per cent) and Morocco (7 per cent) registering the largest increases, whilst production is set to decrease in Spain (by 9 per cent) and Turkey (8 per cent).
As for lemon production, volumes are forecast to fall by 1.3 per cent, with the US registering a 10 per cent decrease and the Mediterranean Basin a 1.6 per cent rise. Spain is the only Mediterranean country anticipating a decrease in production (of 20 per cent), whilst Morocco (79 per cent), Turkey (33 per cent), Greece (31 per cent) and Israel (22 per cent) are all expecting significant increases.
Finally, grapefruit production is expected to decrease by 1.2 per cent overall, due mainly to a fall of 9 per cent in US production. Volumes in the Mediterranean Basin are set to rise by 18 per cent, with the most significant increase coming from Turkey, with 50 per cent. Drops in production are expected from Spain (15 per cent) and Israel (2 per cent).
Examining the export forecasts by country, we see that Italy is making a strong recovery, with a predicted 35 per cent increase overall compared with last season, driven by an 82 per cent increase in oranges and a 16 per cent increase in easy peelers.
Turkey’s exports are expected to rise by 12 per cent this season, with 57 per cent more lemons and 13 per cent more grapefruits, although easy peeler exports are expected to drop by 8 per cent, while orange exports are anticipated to remain the same.
Spanish export volumes are forecast to decrease by a mere 1 per cent, despite the significant decrease in production, with grapefruit and easy peeler exports remaining constant, and oranges and lemons decreasing by 1 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.
Israel is set to increase exports by 4 per cent overall, with increases forecast for easy peelers (15 per cent) and grapefruits (3 per cent), despite a drop in lemons (15 per cent).
Finally, Morocco is expected to register the largest decrease in exports, of 18 per cent overall. Orange exports are set to fall by 29 per cent, easy peelers by 7 per cent, and grapefruit and lemon exports by 54 per cent.