SH to pump more citrus in the system in 2012

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SH to pump more citrus in the system in 2012

Southern Hemisphere citrus exports are set to rise by 1.67% this year, despite expected production falls for key growing countries Argentina and Australia.

Total exports have been forecast to hit 2.511 million metric tons (MT), according to a release from the European Fresh Produce Association (Freshfel) and the Southern Hemisphere Association of Fresh Fruit Exports (SHAFFE).

The countries concerned in order of export volumes are South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Uruguay and Peru.

The forecast means there should be around 64,368MT more oranges, mandarins and lemons than last year pumped into the global market from the Southern Hemisphere.

Grapefruit shipments should be down by 9.25%, which equates to 23,114MT less than last year. Grapefruit shipments are expected to fall from every country except Peru, which is pitted for the highest growth rate in 2012 at 19%.

Oranges are by far the hemisphere's largest citrus export crop with a 2% rise, representing a similar increase in volume terms to the 6.8% jump expected in mandarin shipments.

Australia is expected to record the biggest growth in mandarin exports at 44%, while the hemisphere's second-largest shipper of the fruit Argentina should send 10.4% fewer mandarins despite having a much larger crop - mainly due to faltering market interest and economic issues.

On the other hand, Australia looks set to send 12% - or 15,000MT - fewer oranges to foreign markets this year, while Argentina will ship around 25,000MT fewer oranges. Chile's shipments should stay stable, while growth is predicted for South Africa, Uruguay and Peru.

Argentina will account for more than half the Southern Hemisphere's lemon exports with a 2.41% rise, while other major producer South Africa is set to ship 3.21% more of the fruit than last year. Lemon and lime exports from Australia and Chile are due for a fall.

Overall citrus production in the Southern Hemisphere will actually be slightly lower by 0.3%, standing at 7.695 million MT.

The figures do not include Brazil, which is a major Southern Hemisphere orange export but mainly focuses on juice.

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