WCO, the World Citrus Organisation, has released its annual Northern Hemisphere Citrus Forecast for the upcoming citrus season (2022-23) during the third edition of the Global Citrus Congress, which took place online on 30 November 2022. The preliminary Forecast is based on data from industry associations from Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, and Turkey, in addition to the United States (based on USDA reports for Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas).
During the Global Citrus Congress Philippe Binard, WCO Secretary General, summarised the outcome of the Forecast, “The market insights we received from the major citrus-producing countries in the Northern Hemisphere suggest that the 2022-23 citrus crop is projected to drop to 25,958,275 T. This represents a marked 13% decrease compared to the previous season”. Eric Imbert from CIRAD (WCO Technical Secretariat) added, “This year’s crop is one of the smallest of the last seasons, mainly due to climatic issues in leading export countries. But despite the decrease in Northern Hemisphere production, the citrus market continues to remain buoyant. Citrus is still one of the leading fruits on the global market”.
Specifically, range production is projected to decrease by 11.79% to a total of 13,995,754 T. A similar decrease is also expected for the other citrus categories, namely grapefruit (-16.88%, for a total of 769,043 T), soft citrus (-13.32%, 7,176,116 T in total), and lemon (-15.70% to 4,017,362 T). In the European Union, citrus production is forecasted to experience a 15.09% and a 20.97% decrease in Spain and Italy respectively, while WCO estimates a 10.83% increase for Greece. In the Southern rim of the Mediterranean, production is expected to decrease in Morocco (-33%), Turkey (-27.24%), and Tunisia (-17.12%), while the volumes are forecasted to remain stable in Israel (+0.40%) and increase in Egypt (+8.24%). The citrus crop in the United States, according to USDA estimates, is expected to decrease by 5.16% compared to last season.
WCO’s citrus forecasting activities take place on a biannual basis ahead of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere seasons. All forecasting is undertaken on a pre-competitive basis, supported by proactive member engagement in citrus data collection. Both forecasts are available to all WCO members as part of their WCO membership to facilitate global understanding of current citrus market developments. From this knowledge-sharing exercise, the sector is able to better position the citrus category on domestic markets and further afield.