Production of citrus orchards increased by 8% in 2018 to 403 thousand tons, with orange production reaching its highest level in 30 years. The Agricultural Statistics document of the National Institute of Statistics (INE) states that in 2018 citrus orchards had a production of 403 thousand tons (374 thousand tons in 2017), which represented 6.9% of the total production volume (5,8% in 2017).
In 2018, according to INE, 1.1 million hectoliters of olive oil was produced (below 1.5 million hectoliters in 2017), but according to the institute, notwithstanding the decrease compared to the previous season, the occurrence of two consecutive campaigns with yields over one million hectoliters “is an unusual situation”. Analyzing the one hundred years of statistical data, this occurrence had only happened in the years 1956 and 1957, he points out.
In 2018, Portugal remained self-sufficient in the production of milk, eggs, olive oil, wine, rice and tomatoes for industry and deficit in other agricultural products, namely meat, fruits, cereals except rice, potatoes, dried legumes, seeds and oilseed fruits except olive and vegetable fats and oils except olive oil. This situation, he indicates, was reflected in the trade balance of agricultural and agri-food products (except beverages) whose deficit increased, compared to 2017, to 80.0 million euros, standing at 3,705.8 million euros.
Agricultural forecasts, on the other hand, point to a “widespread decrease in unit yields for fall/winter cereals as a result of high temperatures and low rainfall in March”.
According to agricultural forecasts, on June 30, from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), decreases of 10% in wheat and barley and 15% in triticale and oats are estimated.
As for spring/summer crops, the downward trend of the last campaigns for the corn area is expected to continue, with less than 4,000 hectares planted.
Productivity is expected to rise by 5% in rice and potatoes, while in industry tomato and sunflower are expected to maintain the results achieved in the previous season.
Production in the orchards is expected to increase yields on stone fruits, in particular peach trees (plus 10%) and cherry trees (returning to production close to 19 thousand tons).
In pome fruits, apple trees are also expected to increase productivity (20%), particularly in the northern interior of the country, while pear trees, “as a result of irregular ripening”, are expected to decrease by 10%.