World Fresh Citrus Situation
|Citrus production in selected countries in the Northern Hemisphere in 1997/98 is forecast at a record 49.6 million metric tons, up 7 percent from last year's harvest. Selected Northern Hemisphere country citrus exports in 1997/98 are forecast to increase 7 percent to a record 6.8 million tons, due primarily to expected larger orange and tangerine harvests in Spain and Morocco. Larger exports from Spain and Morocco will likely more than offset expected lower U.S. shipments. U.S. fresh citrus exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 1.18 million tons, 4 percent below the previous year's record shipments. Although world citrus prices are expected to be lower because of larger supplies, the strong U.S. dollar is expected to make U.S. exports less competitive in Asia. The amount of oranges expected to be processed by Northern Hemisphere countries in 1997/98 is forecast at a record 16.4 million tons, 7 percent above the previous year's level. More citrus is expected to be processed because of a record Florida orange harvest.|
Total citrus production in 1997/98 in major producing countries is estimated at a record 49.6 million tons, up 7 percent from the 1996/97 crop. Northern Hemisphere orange production in 1997/98 is forecast at 28.9 million tons, up 10 percent from 1996/97 based on increases in the United States, Mexico, Morocco, and Spain. Tangerine production is forecast at 13.2 million tons, 12 percent above last year's output. This larger production is due mainly to increases in China, Spain and Japan. Selected country grapefruit production is forecast at 3.5 million tons, down 5 percent from the previous year's output due to a smaller U.S. production. Production of lemons and other citrus, mostly limes, is forecast to remain unchanged from the previous year's output.
Total fresh citrus exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 6.8 million tons, up 7 percent from the 1996/97 volume. A forecast 55 percent increase in Moroccan citrus exports (primarily oranges) and an 18 percent increase in Spain's exports (primarily oranges and tangerines), are expected to more than offset lower exports from the United States. Lower U.S. grapefruit exports, primarily to Japan, due to the strong U.S. dollar and available substitutes from competing suppliers, are expected to account for most of the decrease in total U.S. citrus exports.
Total citrus production in the United States in 1997/98 is forecast at 16.9 million tons, up 8 percent from the previous year's harvest. If realized, this could be the largest crop on record. Orange production in 1997/98 is forecast at a record 13.1 million tons, up 11 percent from last year's output. Production is forecast to increase in both Florida (where most of the oranges are processed) and California (where most of the oranges are for fresh consumption and export). Grapefruit production in 1997/98 however, is forecast to decrease 5 percent to 2.5 million tons. Although the lower Florida grapefruit production forecast relieved some concerns that production would be another record, high grapefruit juice stocks will put more pressure on increasing fresh grapefruit exports and consumption.
Total U.S. citrus exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 1.18 million tons, down 4 percent from the previous year's shipments. Orange exports in 1997/98 are forecast to fall by only 2 percent, as likely lower world prices, due to large supplies, are expected to partially offset the impact of the strong U.S. dollar on Asian imports. U.S. orange exports in 1996/97 reached a record 600,937 tons, valued at a record $330 million. Canada and Hong Kong accounted for most of the increased sales in 1996/97. However, U.S. grapefruit exports in 1997/98 are forecast to decrease by 8 percent as lower imports are expected from Japan due to that country's weak economy, the strong U.S. dollar, and the increased availability of competitor supplies. U.S. grapefruit exports in 1996/97 decreased 4 percent to 480,299 tons, as lower sales to Japan accounted for all of the decrease.
U.S. citrus for processing in 1997/98 is forecast at a record 12.3 million metric tons based on a record Florida orange harvest. A likely sharp increase in oranges processed is expected to more than offset likely lower processing of grapefruit due to large grapefruit juice stocks.
Mexican citrus production is forecast at 5.5 million metric tons in 1997/98, 10 percent above last year's output. Most of this increase is attributed to increased production of oranges. Orange production is forecast at 4 million tons, up 13 percent from the previous year. Favorable weather conditions and more trees coming into production account for the increase. Tangerine production is forecast at 270,000 tons, 4 percent above last year's production. Production of grapefruit and limes are also forecast to increase, 6 and 2 percent; respectively, due to increased acreage. Lemon production is forecast to remain at the same level as last year.
Exports of oranges in 1997/98 are forecast at 9,000 tons, up 11 percent from the previous year. The United States is the largest export market for Mexican oranges. Mexican exporters continue to explore Asian markets such as Hong Kong and Japan.
The total Spanish citrus crop for 1997/98 is estimated at 5 million metric tons, 25 percent above last year's output. Orange production is expected to increase 20 percent; tangerines, up 25 percent; and lemons, up 38 percent. The increase in citrus production in 1997/98 is due to favorable weather.
Spain is the world's largest citrus exporter, accounting for 44 percent of total Northern Hemisphere exports. Citrus exports are expected to increase 15 percent in 1997/98 due to the increased production. The majority of Spanish citrus is exported to other European Union countries, which account for 85 percent of total citrus exports. The bulk of these exports will go to traditional markets such as Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Morocco's citrus production in 1997/98 is forecast at 1.57 million tons, 24 percent above last year's output. This increase is mainly due to the upcoming year being the high of the citrus trees' bearing cycle. The majority of the increase in production will come from oranges in the Souss area.
Citrus exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 700,000 tons, 55 percent above the previous year's shipments, based on the expected larger orange crop. The European Union accounts for about 85 percent of Morocco's total orange exports. The proximity of the EU and the preferential duties to which Moroccan citrus are subject to upon entry will continue to make the EU appealing to Moroccan exporters. Morocco also supplies fresh citrus to "contract markets" such as Canada, Middle East countries, and some Scandinavian countries. More recently, Morocco has been exporting citrus to East European countries (Russia, Poland, and Lithuania), which are less demanding in quality and thus are supplied with fruit that would normally go to the domestic market.
More citrus is expected to be processed in 1997/98 based on the expected larger supplies. The Government of Morocco announced its intention to support the largest processor financially in order to enable it to purchase excess local production.
The main citrus crop in Korea is tangerines. Tangerine production in 1997/98 is forecast at 700,000 tons, 31 percent above last year's output. Favorable weather has contributed to this increased production.
Orange imports into Korea were liberalized on July 1, 1997, according to terms of the Record of Understanding signed between Korea and the United States under the Uruguay Round. Liberalization now means the market operates under a tariff rate quota system. However, the market's liberalization has not progressed smoothly because of phytosanitary issues, which are slowly being resolved. In-quota orange imports in 1997 totaled 25,000 tons. July-August 1997 out-of-quota imports totaled 12,470 tons, with out of quota imports forecast to reach 50,000 tons. The 1998 in-quota quantity is 28,125 tons. It is not clear what 1998 out-of-quota imports will be because of the current weak economy and the strong U.S. dollar.
Total citrus production in 1997/98 is forecast at 1.9 million tons, 18 percent above the 1996/97 output. Tangerine production, which accounts for most of the citrus production, is forecast at 1.8 million tons, up 20 percent from the previous year's output. The higher production is due largely to favorable weather.
Japan's total citrus imports in 1997/98 are forecast to decrease 15 percent to 470,000 tons, due to the weak economy and strong U.S. dollar. The United States continues to be the main supplier of oranges, grapefruit, and lemons to Japan. U.S. orange exports to Japan increased 8 percent over the last year. However, the United States continues to face competition in the fresh orange market. For example, Australia and South Africa have increased their orange exports to Japan 31 and 43 percent respectively over the past year. Suppliers in these countries tend to ship after the main growing season for U.S. oranges, but may increasingly be encroaching on the traditional sales period for California fruit. Spain and Chile began exporting oranges to Japan for the first time in 1997, although sales were small. Historically, Israel has been the United States' major competitor in grapefruit exports to Japan. However, this past year, imports from Israel fell approximately 10 percent due to unstable fruit quality of the "Sweetie", a green-skinned grapefruit. South Africa is fast becoming a new exporter of grapefruit to Japan. Exports of the "Outspan" variety have grown ten fold since 1995. The majority of shipments usually occur during June through August.
China's total citrus production in 1997/98 is forecast at 8.3 million tons, 9 percent over last year's output. Oranges and tangerines are forecast to increase 11 and 8 percent respectively in 1997/98 due to more trees coming into production.
Total citrus exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 151,000 tons, unchanged from last year's shipments. Tangerines account for most of China's citrus exports.
Although fresh citrus imports face phytosanitary barriers and high tariffs, substantial amounts of U.S. and South African navels and Valencia oranges are reportedly transshipped through Hong Kong to China.
It is too early to make reliable forecasts for the Southern Hemisphere countries for the 1997/98 season (harvest in 1998).
Total citrus production in selected countries in the Southern Hemisphere in 1996/97 (harvest in 1997) has been revised up 3 percent from the July forecast to 24.3 million tons. For Brazil, the 1996/97 fresh orange crop has been increased 11 percent to 19.1 million tons, based on a larger Sao Paulo harvest than earlier expected. Fresh orange consumption for 1996/97 has been reduced 3 percent from the previous estimate due to economic measures taken by the Brazilian government to address disequilibria in both the domestic and international financial markets. The level of fresh oranges going towards processing in 1996/97 has been increased by 7 percent to 13.3 millions tons based on the amount of oranges processed to date.
South Africa's 1996/97 orange crop has been increased from 986,000 to 1 million tons. It is forecast that 1997 production increased due to good rains. However, unseasonably warm weather delayed fruit coloring and negatively affected fruit quality. South Africa exports fresh citrus to the European Union, United States, the Middle East, and Asia.
Total citrus production in Argentina in 1997 is revised up 4 percent to 2 million tons. The increase in citrus production is mainly due to new plantings, the renewal of old groves, favorable weather, and improved management of the citrus groves.
For further information on production, supply, distribution, and trade contact Debbie Seidband, Horticultural and Tropical Products Division, (202) 720-6877. For information on U.S. marketing opportunities, contact Ted Goldammer at (202) 720-8498.