U.S. imports of Australia’s citrus drop to 65% of normal volume

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U.S. imports of Australia’s citrus drop to 65% of normal volume

U.S. imports of Australian citrus dropped this year, due to competition from producers of the fruit from Chile and Peru, The Australian Broadcast Co. Website abc.net.au reported.

Mark Hanks of DNE World Fruit Sales said the U.S. took in only 65% of the usual amount of citrus from Australia, the website said.

Competition increased two years ago when the U.S. allowed Chilean citrus in. Australian citrus suffered on the West Coast, according to the report.

"They're pretty much trying to copy the quality and specifications of the Australian citrus, and they're going directly after that market," Hanks is quoted as saying.

Peru’s citrus production is expected to increase, according to the USDA, and the U.S. is the second-largest export market, taking in 24% of shipments.

Argentina and Uruguay are gearing up to enter the U.S. market with their citrus as well, FreshFruitPortal.com previously has reported.

In other citrus news, as rain drowns cherry crops in eastern Australia, drought is threatening next year’s crop of citrus in the west, according to abc.net.au.

The lack of rain in the state of Western Australia could affect the size and quality of the oranges, grapefruit and lemons, the website said. The yield could be reduced as well.

There has been no significant rain for several months, citrus grower Geoff Fawcett said, according to the website.

"Most people that rely on surface water, it's a very worrying time," he is quoted as saying.

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

Related news:  Uruguay aims to enter U.S. market with citrus in 2011

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