Chile's citrus exports to fall 12% in 2011
Water scarcity will likely cut back Chile's citrus exports by 12% to 111,514 metric tons (MT) this season, with the sharpest fall in volumes expected for mandarins, according to market researcher iQonsulting.
iQonsulting's latest report says Chile's IV (Coquimbo) and V (Valparaiso) regions will be the most affected by drought, while the weather conditions will also lead to smaller fruit sizes.
As of Mar. 1 it was expected the South American country would export 47,403MT (-10%) of oranges, 25,165MT (-13%) of mandarins and 38,973MT (-13%) of lemons this season.
The drop in lemon export estimates is the biggest fall in volume terms, representing less 6,109MT than 2010 season figures.
"The most dramatic cases of no production will occur with lemon growers in the sectors of Cabildo and Petorca, where (trees) have been pruned to avoid plant deaths due to a lack of water. These trees will have to be formed again for future production," the iQonsulting report said.
The figures released in the report run in contrast to a Southern Hemisphere citrus forecast by Freshfel Europe and SHAFFE, which stated Chile's citrus industry would likely experience modest growth of 2% this season.
Related story: Southern Hemisphere cirtus exports to fall 2.64% in 2011
Source: iQonsulting/ edited by www.freshfruitportal.com