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World Fresh Citrus Situation and Outlook
Total Northern Hemisphere citrus production in 2000/2001 is forecast at 45.9 million tons, decreasing 10 percent from 1999/2000, based mainly on reductions in the crops in the Mediterranean Basin, China, Japan and the United States. Total fresh citrus exports in 2000/2001 from the Northern Hemisphere are forecast at 6.4 million tons, down 12 percent from the 1999/2000 level. The reduction in exports from some key citrus producing countries should lead to improved opportunities for U.S. citrus exports.
Total citrus production in the United States in 2000/01 is forecast at 15.3 million tons, down 3 percent from the previous year's harvest, based on January 10, 2001, estimates. This forecast does not reflect any effects of the freezing temperatures that occurred in parts of Florida the last few days in December and the first week in January. Total orange production in 2000/01 is forecast to rebound to 11.5 million tons, down nearly 4 percent from last year's good output. Low droppage rates and smaller fruit size are contributing to the lower forecast. Grapefruit production in 2000/01 is forecast at 2.4 million tons, down 4 percent from last year's output.
Total U.S. citrus exports in 2000/01 are forecast at 1.1 million tons, 4 percent higher than the previous year's shipments. Orange exports in 2000/01 are forecast to reach 525,000 tons, 2 percent more than last year. U.S. grapefruit exports in 2000/01 are forecast to increase to about 410,000 tons.
Consumption of fresh oranges is estimated to increase slightly in 2000/01.
Israel's citrus production during 2000/01 is forecast at 805,000 tons, slightly above the 1999/2000 level. Orange production is forecast at 300,000 tons; tangerine production at 140,000 tons; grapefruit production at 330,000 tons; and lemon production at 20,000 tons.
Mexico's citrus production is forecast at 4.6 million tons in 2000/01, about 3 percent below last year's output. Overall citrus production for 2000/01 is forecast to grow because of timely rainfall and better weather than during the drier 1999/2000 season. Orange trees had good first and second blooms, but the third and fourth blooms are expected to be lower, so supplies of oranges at the end of April 2001 could be low. Grapefruit, Persian and Key Lime production are forecast to increase due to prevailing good weather.
Exports of oranges in 2000/01 are forecast at 9,000 tons, down sharply from the 50,000 tons exported in 1998/99, which resulted from higher U.S. demand because of the California freeze. The United States is traditionally the largest export market for Mexico's oranges, which mostly originate in Sonora.
Spain's total citrus crop for 2000/01 is forecast at 4.9 million tons, down 15 percent from the previous year. The decrease is the result of inadequate water supplies, normal fluctuation of the production cycle, disease, irregular blooming and small sizes. Orange, tangerine, and lemon production are forecast to decrease by 10, 25, and 10 percent, respectively. Orange production during 2000/01 is forecast at 2.5 million tons, down from 2.8 million tons for the previous year.
Spain is the world's largest citrus exporter, accounting for nearly 45 percent of total Northern Hemisphere exports. Spain's citrus exports in 2000/01 are forecast at 2.8 million tons, down 19 percent from 1999/2000 because of the reduced supplies of oranges, tangerines, and lemons. The bulk of these exports go to traditional European markets such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Moroccos citrus production in 2000/01 is forecast at 1.1 million tons, down 21 percent from the previous year. A 42-percent drop in tangerine production and a 9-percent decline in orange production is accounting for the decline. Morocco experienced a drought that resulted in a significant shortage of irrigation water.
Citrus exports in 2000/01 are forecast at 497,000 tons, 100,000 tons below the previous years shipments. Almost all of the decline is attributed to a forecast drop in tangerine exports to 176,000 tons, from 271,000 tons in 1999/2000.
Turkeys citrus production in 2000/01 is forecast to decline by 13 percent. Favorable weather this year and improved tree maintenance and cultivation techniques have helped to increase production of oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Turkeys citrus exports are forecast to increase to 555,000 tons, up 22 percent from the previous year.
Koreas tangerine production (unshu orange) during 2000/01 is forecast at 565,000 tons, down nearly 12 percent from the good crop of 1999/2000. This is the off year of the cyclical production pattern. However, the fruit is expected to be sweeter and of a higher quality than the previous year.
During calendar year 2001, Koreas import quota for fresh oranges is 40,046 tons, up from 35,596 tons in calendar year 2000. The in-quota tariff remains at 50 percent, while the out-of-quota tariff is 64.7 percent, down from 69.6 percent in calendar year 2000. According to sources, calendar year 2000 marked the first year out-of-quota imports exceeded quota imports since the markets liberalization.
Japan's total citrus production in 2000/01 is forecast at 1.5 million tons, down 18 percent from the 1999/2000 level. Tangerine production in 2000/01 is forecast to account for 93 percent of total production and accounts for the drop. As a result of the decrease in citrus production, Japan's total citrus imports in 2000/01 are forecast to increase to 513,000 tons, up slightly from the previous years level. Orange imports are forecast at 140,000 tons. This level of fresh orange imports in 2000/01 represents an increase of 7 percent from the previous year. Grapefruit imports are forecast at 275,000 tons, about the same level as 1999/2000. Imports of fresh lemons in 2000/01 are projected at 90,000 tons.
China's citrus production for 2000/01 is forecast to decrease by 17 percent because of adverse weather and the alternating production year cycle. Orange production during 2000/01 is forecast at 2.9 million tons, down from 3.2 million tons in 1999/2000. Tangerine production is forecast at 5.1 million tons, down 21 percent from the previous year. Approximately 80 percent of China's citrus is harvested during the months of November and December. Much of China's citrus is reported to be of good quality at harvest time, but quickly deteriorates due to excessive handling during distribution and sales. Post-harvest practices of washing, waxing, and packing tend to be rare.
China's processing industry uses between 5 and 10 percent of the citrus crop each year, but this crop year the percentage might be lower than usual because of the production decrease and corresponding rise in prices. Canned fruit is the main processed citrus product and Mandarin oranges are the variety of choice for most canners. China's citrus exports exceed its imports, but exports are mostly comprised of fresh tangerines and canned citrus. When these 2 products are not considered, China's imports are greater. The United States is China's main source of imported oranges. Unlike in years past, China's official imports are higher than Hong Kong re-exports, possibly indicating a shift in trade patterns. U.S. citrus is now imported directly into China, but the citrus must originate from select counties in certain U.S. states. Chinas tariff on fresh citrus is 40 percent, but is expected to drop to 12 percent by 2004, based on Chinas accession to the WTO.
Total citrus production during 2000/01 is forecast at 1.13 million tons, down 10 percent from the previous year. Orange production for 2000/01 is forecast at 900,000 tons, which is higher than average, but still lower than last year's record crop. Tangerine production will increase again to 90,000 tons and lemon production is forecast at 140,000 tons. As a result of the lower production, citrus exports in 2000/01 are forecast at 310,000 tons, a drop of 4 percent from the previous year.
Forecasts for the Southern Hemisphere are unavailable at this time.
(The FAS Attache Report search engine contains reports on the Fresh Citrus industries for more than 10 countries. For information on production and trade, contact Debra A. Pumphrey at 202-720-8899. For information on marketing contact Ted Goldammer at 202-720-8498.)