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The citrus harvest increases 8% this season

Forecasts reflect a production volume of 3.256.044 tonnes.
The citrus harvest forecast in the Comunitat Valenciana for the season 2013-2014 will be of 3.256.044 tonnes, representing in absolute terms an increase of 8% over the output obtained on the same dates with the same methods in 2012, according to the estimates carried out by the technical services of the Council of the Presidency, Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Water.
In order to place this figure into perspective, it is necessary to emphasise that the comparison is made in relation to 2012, that confirmed a decrease of 4.9% with regards to 2011, and that it is slightly higher (under 1%) than the value of the average production of the previous three seasons ( 2011 and 2012) with 3.232.189 tonnes, which allows placing it within the normal parameters and with enough quantity to guarantee a supply in accordance with the demand.
Due to lower temperatures than normal, the 2013/2014 season is generally late, and the first fruit has an excellent quality, although it cannot be ruled out having smaller commercial calibers due to colder spring temperatures this year, especially in orange.
Volumes according to groups reveal a decrease of 2.5% in the mandarin production, which amounts to 1.348.601 tonnes, with significant reductions in the subgroup of early Clementine.
Satsumas increase considerably due to the general rise of this group formed by Clausellina/Okitsu/Iwasaki/Hashimoto, whilst the owari Satsuma maintains its volume with a slight decrease.
On the whole, Clementines indicate a loss as a result of the reduction in early varieties and particularly to the significant descent of Marisol. Hernandina also falls and the leading variety, Clemenules/Orogrande remains the same. Hybrids see a slight increase because of the combined effect of the growth of Afourer/Nadorcott and the decrease in Fortune and Clemenvilla.
Comparing the 2013 data with the figures obtained from the last three seasons’ average, there is a downward trend in the mandarin group, with an increase in the subgroup of satsuma and a marked decrease in early Clementine, a decline in mid-season and late varieties and still a slight growth of hybrids, as the substitution of Fortune, Ortanique and Clemenvilla, for the group of Afourer/Nadorcott and other late varieties occurs. In the case of oranges, a harvest of 1.694.036 tonnes is expected, meaning an increase of 19.1% with regards to the volume obtained in 2012-2013 season. It must be noted, that during both, 2011 and 2012, there were frost episodes recorded in the citrus producing areas of the Comunitat Valenciana, that reduced the production during both seasons.
Within this group, the significant growth of the Navel subgroup must be highlighted, and in relative terms the strong increase of sanguina/sanguinelli (although total volume output figures, still show a very short production), and the slight decrease of the whites subgroup, is mostly a result of the fall of Valencialate.
The increase according to varieties is shared equally between Navelina/Newhall, and the subgroup of Lanelate, Powell, Chislett and Barnfield, with an important increase of the latter.
Comparing the data on volume for 2013 with that obtained from the average of the last three seasons, there is an increasing trend in the orange group, with significant increases in the late Navel group, at the expense of the Valencialate variety.
Regarding lemon production in the Comunitat Valenciana, this shows an increase of 3.3% and the harvest will be around 207.564 tonnes. According to varieties, the increase affects Fino more than Verna, which practically maintains the volume levels of 2012. The estimated production for the season could be considered to be slightly higher with 4.5% in relation to the average of the last three seasons, although the production trend, with logical oscillations, remains stable at around 200.000 tonnes. For its part, grapefruit, with a much lower total production, descends to stand at 5.843 tonnes.
According to provinces, the estimated volume for Valencia reveals a production of 2.051.183 tonnes, 11.26% higher than last season; in Alicante the forecast is of 652.431 tonnes, with an increase of 8.19%, whilst the province of Castellón is estimated at 552.429 tonnes, with a fall of 2.61% on the 2012 forecast, as a result of the harvest decrease expected in the mandarin group that in Castellón accounts for 83% of the total citrus production, compared to 37% in Valencia and 20% in Alicante.

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