Uruguay announces U.S.-bound citrus export expectations

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Uruguay announces U.S.-bound citrus export expectations

A citrus advisor to Uruguay's Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP) has announced an estimated 8,000-9,000 metric tons (MT) of citrus fruit will be sent to the United States this season, website Elobservador.com.uy reported. clementines_66179119 sq

In the country's first full citrus season with access to the market, advisor Federico Montes told the publication he believed the sector could now "crystallize" its American dream. The story reported that last year the industry sent just 90MT to the market.

He added the country's total production would recover to around 350,000MT, which 49% higher than last year's crop and more in line with harvests prior to damaging frosts that occurred in 2012.

Of the amount of citrus grown last year, Uruguay's Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (DIEA) said 113,000MT was exported, representing an 18% recovery on 2012, the story reported.

Montes told El Observador the season had begun with early-growing Satsumas, while the market looked promising due to domestic issues in the U.S.

"They are in good health and with slightly smaller size as the first flowers were burnt by frosts, there was an excess of water, and fewer bright days," Montes was quoted as saying.

"In 10 days the first  containers with Satsuma mandarins will take off, and then they will be followed by the Clementine variety...there will be good demand because the U.S. had climatic problems and is not self-sufficient."

Mandarin shipments will then be joined by containers of Navel oranges, followed by Salustianas and Valencias, according to Montes.

"We will make a pool of varieties," he was quoted as saying.

"Uruguay has the challenge of consolidating the United States market and reaching other," Montes told the publication, adding that negotiations were currently underway to relax restrictions in the Chinese, Vietnamese and Philippine markets.

Related stories: Uruguayan citrus growers gear up for higher EU duties, full U.S. season

Uruguay looks to win back Chinese citrus market

Photo: www.shutterstock.com


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