Orange oil is extracted by simple pressure from the outer coloured part of the Citrus sinensis peel. Oranges are widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates for the sweet fruit and commercially for essential oil extraction.
Orange oil is a by-product of the juice industry. Oil is cold pressed from the peel of the fruit, after the juice extraction and is widely used across the flavour and fragrance industry. Sweet orange (citrus sinensis) is around 90% d’limonene, a product used across many industries. Approximately 40% of global oranges are processed for juice and oil with 60% solely used as a fresh fruit for consumption.
Known as 'the orchid of Spain', Valencia is the largest growing region in Spain. You will find this type of 'sweet' orange growing near the coastlines whilst you will find cities such as Seville, Córdoba and Málaga filled with oranges during the season. Spain produces around 50% of all Europe's oranges making it the largest within the European Union. Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Portugal are the other main producers in Europe.
Spain is almost producing oranges all year round from over 300,000 hectares as the different varieties and regions lend themselves to production at different times. It is thought that of the 15,000 MT of 'bitter' oranges produced around Seville, most go into marmalades for the UK market.
The 2016/17 Spanish orange season was ultimately better than expected. After a slow start to the campaign, due to poor weather in December and January, the season recovered to see growth levels close to 20% when compared to 2015/16.
The main Spanish orange producing areas are the regions of Valencia, Andalusia, and Murcia and each saw an increase in orange production for MY 2016/17 of 19%, 17.3% and 18% respectively.
Unfortunately the news out of Valencia isn’t so good for this season, which started in October – a region which produces around 55% of Spanish citrus fruits. Recent estimates suggest a 20% drop in overall citrus production, equating to losses of 7.6% for oranges and 24.1% for mandarins. The main causes for this are the natural alternation of citrus crops, as well as the impact of last winter’s copious rainfall, which affected the roots and weakened the trees and resulted in an irregular flowering. The high temperatures of May also took a negative toll.
There haven’t been many offers for oil this season so we continue to monitor the situation.
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