Uruguayan citrus wrap

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Uruguayan citrus wrap

Uruguay may be a small country but it has gained global recognition from distributors and supermarkets as a quality producer and exporter of citrus fruits. According to a recent report by URUGUAY XXI, the surface area in the country dedicated to citrus now stands at more than 14,000 hectares. clementines_67148710 small

The most cultivated citrus fruits are oranges at 6,500 hectares and mandarins with 5,800 hectares. In terms of orange varieties, the main cultivars grown are Valencia, Salustiana and Navel, while for easy peelers, production is focused on Satsuma Okitsu, Satsuma Owari, Nova, Clementina, Clemenvilla, Montanegrina, the common mandarin, and Ellendale, among others.

The South American nation's citrus production has witnessed its ups and downs in recent years, which were mainly due to climatic factors like the droughts of 2008 and 2011, while frosts in 2012 led to a deterioration in quality that meant 25% of the fruit produced could not be sold.

For 2013, Uruguay's agricultural statistics office (DIEA) forecast a 27% year-on-year reduction in volume to 243,000 metric tons (MT) for the four main citrus types - oranges, easy peelers, lemons and grapefruit.

Exports fell by 5.7% between 2008 and 2012 with a peak value over the period of US$85 million in 2010. From January to October this year exports hit US$77 million, which exceeds shipments in 2010.

The report listed the Netherlands, the U.K., Russia, Brazil and Spain as the main destination markets for Uruguayan citrus. The U.S. will likely make its place on future lists following its approval for Uruguayan citrus imports this recent season.

In 2012, mandarins carried the highest export value while orange shipments had the greatest volume.

Citrus production represents 6% of Uruguay's agricultural GDP.

Photo: www.shutterstock.com


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