Monday, May 20th  2019

Citrus fruits are the first fruit crop in international trade in terms of value. Spain is the leading producing country of fresh fruit in the Mediterranean area and the world first exporting country. Production of citrus has a long history in Spain. Citron was introduced in the V century, sour orange and lemons in the X century, grapefruit in the XIII century, sweet oranges in the XV century and mandarins in the XIX century. Today Spain has 330.000 hectares of citrus, with oranges representing 48%, mandarins 35% and lemons 16% of a production of 6.3 million tons, with more than 50% of the production being commercialized abroad. Citrus plantings are located along the Mediterranean coast, in the Guadalquivir river valley in the provinces of Córdoba and Sevilla and in the Atlantic coast in the province of Huelva. Spain citrus industry has been completely renewed with healthy trees from certified nurseries. As a result, today graft and vector transmitted diseases are not a significant problem anymore. Evolution of consumer preference has also driven major changes in the citrus industry with increasing demand of small, easy peelers tangerines, clementines, mandarins and satsumas at the expense of fresh oranges.

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