According to data from the Statistics Division of the United Nations (UN), in recent years Spain has been constantly losing ground to South Africa and Turkey in the global citrus trade.

Although Spain remains the world’s largest exporter, its citrus shipments have been reduced by 15.18% since 2015, going from 4,184.56 million kilos back then to 3,549.54 million kilos in 2018. Meanwhile, citrus fruit exports from South Africa have grown by 19.93%, from 1,791.57 million kilos in 2015 to 2,548.66 million in 2018, and those of Turkey have increased by 32.6%, from 1,516.5 million kilos in 2015 to 2,010.96 in 2018.

In 2018, Spain bought a total of 10.23 million kilos of citrus fruits from South Africa, 242% more than in the previous year. In the case of Turkey, although the volumes are smaller, the increase is much greater, since Spain bought 2.53 million kilos of citrus fruits from Turkey in 2018, 656.71% more than in the previous year.

Spain continues to be the world’s leading citrus exporter, with 3,549.54 million kilos in 2018, 20.5% of the world’s total, with a value of 3,094.41 million Euro and an average price of 0.872 Euro / kilo.

In 2018, Spanish citrus exports went mostly to Germany, a country that bought 1,007.58 million kilos from Spain. Next in the ranking is France, with 763.08 million kilos, the United Kingdom, with 288.36 million, Italy, with 225.76, and the Netherlands, with 221.66 million kilos of citrus fruits.

South Africa ranks second in the global ranking of citrus exporters. In 2018, the country exported 2,148.66 million kilos, 12.41% of the world’s total. South Africa obtained a total of 1,258.36 million Euro from those shipments, with an average price of 0.586 Euro / kilo.

South Africa exported 396.4 million kilos to the Netherlands, 187.48 to the United Kingdom, 171.46 to China, 163.39 to Russia and 142.19 million kilos to the United Arab Emirates.

Turkey comes third in the world ranking of citrus exporters. In 2018, it sold 2,010.96 million kilos abroad, 11.62% of the world’s total. The value of Turkish citrus exports in 2018 was 753.59 million Euro, with an average price of 0.375 Euro / kilo.

The biggest customer for Turkish citrus in 2018 was Russia, which bought 588.44 million kilos. It is followed by Iraq, with 517.66, Ukraine, with 199.94, Saudi Arabia, with 96.79, and Romania, with 80.2 million kilos. Source: