Citrus production overview - a mixed global picture -

Most citrus categories to see global production drops in 2019-20

All major citrus categories are forecast to see year-on-year global production declines in the 2019-20 season with the exception of grapefruit.

Supplies of oranges, lemons and limes, and mandarins and tangerines are all expected to be lower in world markets, according to a bi-annual USDA report.


Global orange production is forecast to fall 5.8m metric tons (MT) from the previous year to 47.5m. This is attributed to smaller crops in Brazil, Egypt, the EU, and Morocco, resulting from unfavorable weather.

China's production is projected up slightly to 7.3m on favorable weather, while U.S.production is forecast to rise 1% to 4.9m. South Africa’s production is expected to rise 4% to 1.6m tons.

But while Mexico’s production is forecast to be steady at 4.4m, the EU is expected to see a 10% drop to 5.8m due to unfavorable weather that affected flowering and fruit set. Egypt’s production is forecast to decrease 17% to 3m.

Mandarins and tangerines

Volumes of another key citrus category, mandarins and tangerines, are forecast down 1% to 31.7m MT. Declines in the European Union, Morocco, Turkey, and the U.S. are expected to more than offset a larger crop in China.

China’s production is forecast to rise 1m MT to a record 23m due to favorable weather and rapid expansion in crop area devoted to newer easy-to-peel varieties.

But production in the EU is expected to drop 570,000MT to 2.6m due to unfavorable spring and fall weather conditions with heavy rains in Spain and Italy.

In addition, Turkey’s production is forecast down 9% to 1.5m, Morocco's is projected to slide down 34% to 910,000MT, and U.S. production is forecast down 14% to 844,000MT due to a smaller crop in California.

Lemons and limes

For the lemon and lime category, global production is forecast down 586,000MT to 7.9m due to lower production in Argentina, the EU, Turkey, and the U.S. 

Mexico’s production is forecast to expand slightly to 2.4m on improved yields, while production in South Africa is forecast to climb 6% to a record 530,000MT as a result of favorable weather and higher area. 

And while Argentina's production is forecast to drop 11% to 1.6m due to unfavorable weather, exports are projected to reach a record 300,000MT reflecting new markets – India, Vietnam, and China – opened in 2019. 

Meanwhile, EU production is projected 13% lower at 1.5m, Turkey’s production is forecast to decline 9% to 1m, and U.S. production is forecast down 16% to 740,000MT on a smaller crop in California.


Bucking the citrus production trend, global grapefruit production in 2019-20 is forecast up 3% to a record 7m MT due to favorable weather and larger crops in China, South Africa, Turkey, and the U.S.

Production in the European Union is forecast to shrink 18% to 89,000MT  due to unfavorable weather.

But China’s production is forecast up slightly to a record 4.9m on favorable weather and expanded area, while U.S. production is expected to rise 14% to 582,000MT due to higher production in California, Florida, and Texas.

South Africa’s production is projected to rise 8% to a record 420,000MT, due to favorable weather and increased area, and Mexico’s production is forecast 3% higher to 468,000MT.