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News » 23.02.2021 - A new all-time record for citrus imports to the European Union.

Citrus imports from third countries to the European Union showed a new historical record (from January to October 2020) with a volume of 2.198.146 tons, after increasing by 15.4 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a study of the Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) based on data from Eurostat and the Ministry of Agriculture.

South Africa stands out as the leading citrus exporter to the EU thanks to the trade advantages acquired by the agreement achieved in 2016 and already accounts for 44 percent of total imports.

During the 2020 there were shipped 968.640 tons of citrus, which means an increase of 24.8 percent compared to last season. The increase is mainly caused by late mandarins shipments, which coincide with the early Valencian varieties, after tripling the cultivated area in a decade.

In second position stands Egypt, with 334.354 tons shipped, which is 16 percent more than in 2019.

Citrus imports from Turkey in 2020 grew by 49.5 percent and reached 190.294 tons.

Morocco's cargoes fell by 10.1 percent due to the considerable drop in production, from 203.730 tons in 2019 to 190.294 in 2020.

Argentina also experienced a fall of 11.5 percent, as a result of the EU ban on the import of oranges and lemons after accounting for 133 interceptions of quarantine pests and diseases in its merchandise, going from 165.144 tons in 2019 to 146.195 in 2020.

AVA-ASAJA calls on the community authorities to rethink their diplomacy with the aim of recovering attractive markets for citrus fruits such as the United States, where the new president Biden has declared that he will keep the 25 percent tariffs on Spanish citrus, and Russia, which has maintained a veto on fruit and vegetable production since 2014 and threatens a definitive break in relations with the EU.



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