Chilean citrus: Clementines end with 18% volume drop, mandarins off to quick start

August 07 , 2019

The Chilean clementine season has seen a sharp year-on-year drop in export volumes, while mandarins are getting off to a quicker start.

By week 30 - and with 95% of exports complete - clementine volumes were down by 18%, equivalent to around 10,000 metric tons (MT).

"From the beginning, we said that there would be fewer clementines, even though we were a lot quicker at the start of the season than last year," Juan Enrique Ortúza, president of the Chilean Citrus Committee, told FreshFruitPortal.com.

The mandarin season, which is just getting away, had seen exports of 3,270MT by week 30.

"Last year by the same date we had sent 1,852MT, so we're going faster this year," he said.

However, Ortúzar noted that total mandarin exports this season are forecasted to dip slightly by 2% year-on-year.

Lemons set for early finish, oranges running lighter

Looking at other citrus categories, the lemon season as of week 30 was 60% complete. By the same time last year it was only 52% complete.

"This makes us think that the season is going to be a bit shorter. Everything's a bit early and we think that the shipments are going to end before last year," Ortúza said.

"We have shipped 64,722MT, and last year we had shipped 53,110MT."

Like mandarins, the lemon forecast is relatively flat, with the industry expecting a 2% uptick in volume.

For oranges, the export volume is slightly lower than last year at 48,939MT - representing 53% of the forecast.

"In oranges, we are estimating a slight drop of 8%. Based on that forecast we are on a similar percentage of completion to the last season. Last season we were 44% through by week 30," he said.

Chile's citrus export market mix has been fairly similar to previous years'. Clementines have been sent almost in their entirety to the U.S. (99%), with two-thirds going to the East Coast.

The U.S. has also received 95% of orange exports, with the rest going to Europe and Latin America.

Lemons have seen 60% going to the U.S., 26% to Japan and the rest mainly to South Korea and Europe.

For soft citrus, 72% of arrivals from all origins in the U.S. market have been from Chile, with 25% from Peru, according to USDA data.

 

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