An Overview of the Sicilian Citrus Crop: Blood Oranges, Lemons, & More

Sicily is known for its famous citrus crop. The Sicilian citrus crop is a major part of the island’s economy. The blood oranges, lemons, mandarin oranges, and bergamots grown there are exported all over the world, and the locals rely on them for their livelihood.

The Sicilian citrus crop has a long history, dating back to the 16th century when settlers brought oranges and lemons to Sicily from North Africa. Since then, the industry has grown steadily, with Sicilian blood oranges becoming an increasingly important part of Sicily’s economy. Today, the citrus industry is responsible for about 10% of Sicily’s total agricultural production.

Sicilian Blood Oranges, in particular, are a global staple in high demand.

Sicilian blood oranges are a type of citrus fruit that is well-known around the world. They are known for their deep red color and sweet taste. Sicilian blood oranges are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They have been shown to offer a number of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, improving eye health, and boosting immunity.

The harvest periods for Sicilian blood oranges is typically January and April through May.

What is expected for the 2022-2023 Sicilian blood orange and citrus crops?

Summer 2022 saw hot climate conditions that reduced Sicilian blood orange crop volumes and has driven much lower market demand than usual.

Tense market conditions and challenges are expected due to weather and other factors. The current expectation for the January blood orange crop is not satisfactory at all. This year will see a difficult crop for the Moro variety of blood orange. Smaller fruit sizes are also expected.

The expectation for the other Sicilian citrus varieties are painting a similar picture: demand for Sicilian lemons is virtually non-existent and overall crop volume will be down 15-20% from an average crop. At the same time, Mandarin oranges are likely to see yields down 30%, albeit higher than last year’s extraordinarily small crop. Finally, bergamots will see yields up to 8% lower than last year’s crop.

Though market conditions point towards challenges, BMT Foods stands ready to meet your blood orange product needs.

BMT Foods supplies both blood orange juice NFC, sourced from Sicily, and blood orange juice concentrate. Blood orange juice NFC is great for brewing, soft drinks, and natural beverages, while blood orange juice concentrate can be used in cocktails, vinaigrettes, desserts, and smoothies. We are ready to meet your blood orange needs. Please reach out to us today to learn more.