Easy-peelers to continue the upward trend in the Americas

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Easy-peelers to continue the upward trend in the Americas

According to a report released by Rabobank, exports of South American easy-peel citrus are expected to continue increasing, albeit at a slower pace, as demand remains healthy in the Americas.

In the last ten years, U.S, production and imports of mandarins, clementines, tangerines, tangelos and other easy-peelers have had an annual compound growth rate of 6 percent. They are predicted to surpass oranges and become the most consumed fresh citrus fruit in North America.

Domestic production has gone up thanks to year-round demand. Over the 20 years, bearing acreage in California has grown six times bigger, reaching 67,000 acres in 2021. 

Further afield, South America exports have also increased due to greater production in Peru and Chile, since 2017. In particular, volumes exported to the US market have soared by 57 percent.

Exports from South America to Europe started to rise in 2020 thanks to greater shipment from Argentina and Uruguay. In 2021, this meant that South American easy-peeler exports reached a record figure of 572,000 metric tons.

Although outputs and exports will continue to go up this season, logistics and production challenges are forecast to slow the growth rate.

Despite high demand, US domestic citrus supply is expected to hit a record low, resulting in possible shortages. Moreover, Chilean easy-peeler exports will decrease because of ongoing drought.

In addition, as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, the redirection of trade flows between South America and Russia may cause oversupply. Over the last decade, the Russian market has received 50 percent Argentine easy-peeler exports, while both Peru and South Africa exported 8% of their easy-peelers to Russia.

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