Soft citrus drives growth in global citrus exports in 2020-21

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Soft citrus drives growth in global citrus exports in 2020-21

Global citrus exports are to rise in the 2020-21 season, driven mostly by soft citrus and to a lesser extent lemons, according to a new USDA report.

Global exports are estimated at 11 million metric tons (MT) with oranges representing over 40 percent and soft citrus nearly 30 percent.

"Exports are propelled by tangerines/mandarins from China, South Africa, and Turkey and to a lesser extent higher lemon exports from Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey. South Africa is the largest exporter followed by Turkey and Egypt," the report said.

U.S. citrus exports are dropping primarily due to lower orange exports and haven’t been able to participate in rising global tangerine or lemon trade due to reduced exportable supplies, it said.

Global citrus production is estimated up 4 percent to 98 million MT.

For soft citrus, global production is estimated up 4 percent to a record 33.3 million MT with growth expected in nearly every market. Consumption and exports are both up on higher supplies.

Production and consumption have been trending higher over the last 20 years on growth from China, the EU, Turkey, and the U.S.

For lemons and limes, production is estimated flat at 8.4 million tons as increased production in Mexico, the EU, and Turkey nearly offset declines in Argentina and the U.S. Consumption and exports are projected up while fruit for processing is expected to fall nearly 20 percent.

This is the first production decrease in 3 years for the United States, with the drop attributed to lower yields in the San Joaquin Valley due to drought.

Global trade is estimated higher as exports from Mexico and Turkey more than offset a decline from Argentina.

For oranges, global production is estimated up 2.5 million MT from the previous year to 48.6 million MT as favorable weather leads to a larger crop in Brazil (up 7 percent) and Mexico (up nearly 60 percent). Most of the higher production is expected to go into fruit for processing, leaving consumption and exports flat.

For grapefruit, global production is estimated down less than 1 percent to 6.7 million MT due to unfavorable weather in the U.S. and Turkey that more than offset higher production in China, Mexico, and South Africa.

Consumption is expected flat while exports are estimated slightly higher on gains in China and South Africa.

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