- World Fresh Citrus Situation
|Total world citrus
production in selected countries in 1998/99 is forecast
at 66.4 million metric tons, down 8 percent from last
years record harvest. While selected Southern
Hemisphere production is forecast to increase by 10
percent, selected Northern Hemisphere country citrus
production is forecast to decrease 15 percent. A forecast
12 percent larger Brazilian citrus harvest will not
offset smaller harvests in most of the major Northern
Hemisphere producers, including the United States, Spain,
Italy, Greece, and Mexico. Total world fresh citrus
consumption is forecast to decrease by 6 percent, while
citrus for processing is forecast to decrease 9 percent
in 1998/99. Total fresh citrus exports are also forecast
to decline significantly as a result of smaller exports
of fresh oranges from Spain and the United States and
also lower shipments of Spanish tangerines.
- Northern Hemisphere
- Total Northern Hemisphere citrus
production in 1998/99 in major producing countries is
estimated at 42.5 million tons, down 15 percent from the
record 1997/98 crop. Northern Hemisphere orange
production in 1998/99 is forecast at 23 million tons,
down 19 percent from 1997/98 based mainly on a large
decrease in U.S. orange production, but also decreases in
Mexico, Morocco, and Spain. Northern Hemisphere tangerine
production is forecast at 12.2 million tons, 14 percent
below last years output. This smaller production is
due mainly to decreases in China, Spain, and Japan.
Selected country grapefruit production is forecast at 3.3
million tons, roughly equal to the previous years
output. Production of lemons and other citrus, mostly
limes, is forecast to decrease to 2.6 and 1.5 million
- Total fresh citrus exports in 1998/99 are
forecast at 6.4 million tons, down 8 percent from the
1997/98 volume. Decreases in Spanish orange and tangerine
exports and lower shipments of Greek and U.S. oranges are
expected to account for most of this decline.
- United States
- Total citrus production in the United
States in 1998/99 is forecast at 12.5 million tons, 23
percent below the previous years record harvest.
Orange production in 1998/99 is forecast at 9.0 million
tons, down 28 percent from last years output.
Production is forecast to decrease in both Florida (where
most of the oranges are processed) and California (where
most of the oranges are for fresh consumption and export)
and for most varieties of oranges. Florida orange output
is down 23 percent from last years record harvest
due to less than optimal growing conditions. Grapefruit
production in 1998/99 is forecast at 2.3 million tons,
down slightly from last years output.
- A freeze in December in Californias
San Joaquin Valley severely reduced the amount of Navel
and Valencia oranges and lemons harvested in that area.
Californias preliminary all orange crop estimate
was reduced by 39 percent after the freeze and is
forecast 51 percent below the previous years
output. Although California accounts for about 25 percent
of total U.S. orange output, California accounts for most
U.S. fresh orange exports. Total U.S. lemon production is
forecast for 1998/99 was reduced by 10 percent because of
the freeze and is forecast 18 percent lower than the
previous years output.
- Total U.S. citrus exports in 1998/99 are
forecast at 870,000 million tons, down 26 percent from
the previous years shipments. Orange exports in
1998/99 are forecast to fall by 52 percent because of
reduced supplies from California. U.S. grapefruit exports
in 1998/99, on the other hand, are forecast to increase
by 8 percent to about 425,000 tons.
- U.S. citrus for processing in 1998/99 is
forecast at 9.7 million tons, down from last years
record 11.9 million tons, based on the lower Florida
- Mexican citrus production is forecast at
4.3 million tons in 1998/99, 21 percent below last
years output. Unfavorably dry weather conditions
during the first part of 1998 accounted for much of the
decrease, though these conditions were not as severe as
first forecast. Orange production in 1998/99 is forecast
at 2.95 million tons, down 25 percent from the previous
year, but up 18 percent from the previous forecast.
Tangerine production is forecast at 190,000 tons, down 31
percent from last years production. Production of
grapefruit, lemons, and limes are also forecast to
decrease, 23, 48, and 1 percent, respectively.
- Exports of oranges in 1998/99 are forecast
at 50,000 tons, sharply above the previous year based on
higher U.S. demand as a result of the California freeze.
The United States is traditionally the largest export
market for Mexican oranges, which mostly originate in
Sonora. Mexican exporters continue to explore Asian
markets such as Hong Kong and Japan.
- The total Spanish citrus crop for 1998/99
is estimated at 4.9 million tons, 9 percent below last
years output. Orange production is expected to
decrease 12 percent and tangerines 11 percent, while
lemons are forecast to increase by 8 percent. A high
incidence of Tristeza in many key producing areas is the
primary reason for the expected decline in orange and
tangerine production, though rain during January 1999
helped improve field conditions and fruit development.
- Spain is the worlds largest citrus
exporter, accounting for approximately 50 percent of
total Northern Hemisphere exports. Citrus exports are
expected to decrease 3 percent in 1998/99 due to reduced
orange and tangerine production. Spanish exports to Asia
increased as the California freeze dampened competition
from the United States, but these gains were largely
offset by a decline in sales to Eastern Europe. The
majority of Spanish citrus is exported to other European
Union countries, accounting for 85 percent of total
citrus exports. The bulk of these exports go to
traditional markets such as Germany, France, the
Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
- Italian citrus production is forecast to
decrease to 2.6 million tons, a decrease of 19 percent
from the previous year. The previous fresh orange
production estimate was reduced by 6 percent due to
extreme heat during the growing season and hail and
abnormally cool weather during harvest. The initial
tangerine production forecast was reduced by 15 percent,
to 450,000 tons, due to similar weather problems.
- Italian imports of citrus continue to
increase, with a positive trade balance remaining only in
oranges. Italian citrus continues to face strong
competition from Spain. Most Italian imports are from
Morocco, Spain, and other Mediterranean countries.
- Total citrus production in Greece for
1998/99 is forecast at 780,000 tons, down 36 percent from
the previous year. The Greek citrus production forecast
for 1998/99 was reduced significantly due to poor weather
throughout the growing season. The production forecasts
were reduced by 33, 27, and 37 percent for oranges,
tangerines, and lemons, respectively.
- Orange exports are forecast to decrease to
180,000 tons, 45 percent below last years volume.
Lemon exports are forecast to decrease by 49 percent
compared to the previous year. However, as a result of
the lower supply, export prices have increased by 15 to
- Moroccos citrus production in
1998/99 is forecast at 1.2 million tons, 22 percent below
from last years bumper harvest. This decrease is
mainly due to a low point of the citrus trees
bearing cycle and problematic weather in some areas
during the flowering period. The citrus crop is forecast
to be down in most growing areas, especially in the Souss
and Gharb areas.
- Citrus exports in 1998/99 are forecast at
550,000 tons, 10 percent below the previous years
shipments, based on the smaller orange crop. Orange
exports are forecast at 330,000 tons and tangerine
exports are forecast at 220,000 tons. The European Union
accounts for most of Moroccos 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.
The EU market is the destination for most of
Moroccos top quality citrus, while second quality
oranges are increasingly directed to Eastern Europe and
Russia. The East European countries are less demanding in
quality and thus are supplied with fruit that would
normally go to the domestic market.
- The main citrus crop in Korea is
tangerines. Tangerine production in 1998/99 is forecast
at 508,000 tons, 3 percent below the previous forecast.
The reduction in the forecast is due to a larger than
expected volume of damaged and diseased fruit at harvest.
Problems such as skin cracking and brown rot resulted in
a smaller tonnage produced. The general reduction in
production is also because the 1998/99 crop is considered
in the off-year of the production cycle, though the
sweetness and overall quality of the fruit is expected to
- 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.
In-quota orange imports in 1999 totaled 33,271 tons.
Additionally, in May of 1998, the Korean Food and Drug
Administration conformed its chemical residue standards
to those of the Codex Alimentarious, which has eased some
of the restrictions on citrus imports.
- Newly adopted restrictive minimum access
(MMA) orange quota tender specifications limited the
amount of imports. The new regulations discouraged most
U.S. companies possessing fruit after the California
freeze from participating in the government sanctioned
auctions. Through April 30, 1999, only 9,625 tons out of
33,271tons of MMA oranges tendered had been awarded.
- The United States dominates the Korean
orange and grapefruit import markets accounting for about
99 percent of the market. As a result of their recent
export approval, South Africa will now compete with fruit
from the United States. Other countries seeking export
approval to Korea are Australia, Spain, and Chile.
- Total citrus production in 1998/99 is
forecast at 1.56 million tons, 21 percent below the
1997/98 output and very similar to the 1996/97 harvest.
Tangerine production, which accounts for most of the
citrus production, is forecast at 1.4 million tons, down
22 percent from the previous years output. The
lower production is due largely to unfavorable weather in
1998/99, high temperatures in spring and summer, and
typhoons and heavy rain in late summer and early fall.
- Japans total citrus imports in
1998/99 are forecast to increase by 6 percent to 489,000
tons. Higher imports of fresh grapefruit are expected to
account for much of the increase. U.S. grapefruit exports
to Japan are expected to rise to 250,000 tons in 1998/99,
as marketers recover from short supplies of high-quality
fruit from the previous year. Fresh orange imports are
forecast to decline 6 percent to 142,000 tons, largely
due to the effects of the California freeze. Strong sales
in October and December were offset by a dramatic
decrease in January and February.
- The United States market share of the
Japanese market for oranges, grapefruit, and lemons in
marketing year 1997/98 was 85, 74, and 81 percent,
respectively. However, the United States continues to
face increasing competition from Australia and South
Africa in the fresh orange market. Suppliers in competing
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. South
Africa generally supplies Navels and Valencias to the
Japanese market from July through September, while
Australia ships the same product from July through
- Chinas citrus production in 1998/99
is forecast at 8.4 million tons, 7 percent below last
years record output. Tangerine production is
forecast to decrease by 13 percent to 6.0 million tons,
due to drought conditions in the southern provinces,
though this output is still 9 percent above the 1996/97
output. Orange production is forecast to increase to 2.4
million tons, 14 percent above 1997/98.
- Total citrus exports in 1998/99 are
forecast at 203,000 tons. Tangerine exports are forecast
at 190,000 tons, a 2 percent decrease from the previous
year. Tangerines account for about 94 percent of
Chinas citrus exports.
- The recent Agreement on U.S.-China
Agricultural Cooperation is expected to end the
prohibitive phytosanitary barriers against U.S. citrus
imports, though fresh citrus imports will continue to
face high tariffs. However, substantial amounts of U.S.
and South African Navel and Valencia oranges are
reportedly transshipped through Hong Kong to Guagndong
province, where they are sold in wholesale markets.
Chinas official orange imports totaled only 12 tons
in 1996/97 and are forecast at 38 tons in 1998/99.
- Southern Hemisphere
- Total Southern Hemisphere citrus
production is forecast to increase by 10 percent to 23.8
million tons. This increase is largely the result of a
rebound in Brazilian orange production, which accounts
for more than 75 percent of total Southern Hemisphere
citrus production. Total fresh citrus exports in 1998/99
are forecast to increase 5 percent to 1.2 million tons,
including a large increase in exports of lemons from
Argentina. Citrus for is processing also expected to
increase as a result of the larger Brazilian orange crop,
which offset declines in citrus processing in Argentina.
- Total citrus production in 1998/99 is
forecast to increase to 555,000 tons. The orange crop is
forecast at 524,000 million tons, 24 percent above the
previous year. The 1997/98 forecast was revised down to
421,000 tons due to poor weather conditions. Lemon
production is forecast at 31,000 tons in 1998/99.
- Exports of oranges in 1998/99 are forecast
at 125,000 tons, an increase of 15 percent over the
previous year. Exports in 1997/98 suffered from the lower
production and weak demand in key Asian markets. Orange
exports have grown from 45,000 tons in 1990/91 to a
forecast 125,000 tons in 1998/99.
- Total citrus production in Argentina in
1998/99 is forecast to decrease to 2.4 million tons, down
6 percent, due to unfavorable weather. Rainfall in the
1999 production year was excessive and adversely affected
production. Despite a slight decrease in total
production, Argentine total exports are forecast to
increase 7 percent based on increased lemon exports.
- Production of fresh lemons in Argentina is
forecast to increase to a record 1.05 million tons in
1998/99. A key factor in the increase in production is
the increase in young plantings that are reaching bearing
age. It is reported that in the Tucuman province in
northern Argentina trees are being planted beyond the
replacement rate each year. Fresh lemons delivered to
processors in 1999 are forecast at 690,000 tons, down 3
percent from the previous year. The decrease in amount of
lemons delivered to processors is attributed to reduced
export demand and low international prices.
- Total orange production in Argentina in
1998/99 (harvested April through December) is forecast at
780,000 tons, down 15 percent from the previous year. The
factors contributing to lower production are unfavorable
weather, poor prices leading to minimal tree maintenance,
and poor soil aeration which led to a reduction in buds
and plant growth. These factors adversely affected
flowering of the trees in August and September of 1998,
resulting in the lower harvest in 1999. The Entre Rios
province has become the most important orange producing
area in Argentina, accounting for 52 percent of
production. Tangerine production is forecast at 340,000
tons, 12 percent below the previous year. However,
grapefruit production is forecast to increase by 12
percent, to 210,000 tons. More trees coming into
production and a recovery from the previous dry year
accounted for the increase in grapefruit production.
- Fresh lemon exports are forecast at
190,000 tons, an increase of 22 percent. The largest
export markets remain in the European Union, however,
Russia and Canada are also becoming important markets.
Argentina is also forecast to export 90,000 tons of fresh
oranges and 30,000 tons of tangerines in 1998/99, mainly
to the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.
- Orange production in Brazil is forecast to
rebound to 18.0 million tons in 1998/99 (Brazilian
1999/00 marketing year), an increase of 13 percent from
the previous year. The increased production is in large
part due to higher production of late Natal and Valencia
orange varieties, which are both in the peak year of
their bi-annual production cycle, the reportedly good
condition of the early Hamlin variety, and good weather
through the growing season. Additionally, the high prices
which processors paid for fruit in the previous season
allowed growers to maintain good crop management
practices. The increased total production will allow for
both increased processing and fresh domestic consumption
in 1998/99. However, a lower percentage of the total
orange crop is forecast to be processed in the 1998/99
season, 68 percent of total production or 12.2 million
tons, while domestic consumption is forecast to rebound
to 5.6 million tons.
- Orange production in the 1997/98 year
(Brazilian 1998/99 marketing year) was revised up 6
percent to 15.9 million tons, as a larger than expected
production from the fourth bloom added to total
production. Additionally, the 1997/98 estimate of oranges
for processing was revised upward by 10 percent, while
domestic consumption was reduced by 3 percent. Demand
from the processing industry in 1997/98 was stronger than
previously expected because concern about fruit
availability led processors to offer significantly higher
prices late in the season. The increased price for fruit
and the reduced purchasing power of consumers after the
Real devaluation diverted fruit to processors and away
from the domestic fresh market.
- Citrus canker has grown into a serious
concern for growers in the Sao Paulo commercial citrus
area. Estimates of the actual number of infected trees
vary widely, but it is possible that several million
trees could be eradicated in the next few years in an
effort to bring the disease under control. Fundecitrus,
the Sao Paulo State Fund for the Defense of Citriculture,
is taking an active role in the detection and eradication
of citrus canker. Fundecitrus plans to use a temporary
workforce of 4,000 to examine the entire Sao Paulo citrus
area for canker and then to eradicate infected trees and
trees in a specified buffer zone surrounding infected
trees, in order to halt the spread of the disease. Prior
to citrus canker, Citrus Variegated Chlorosis (CVC) was
the main disease challenge to the citrus industry in
Brazil, but CVC is now under control due to increased
grower awareness and improved grove maintenance
practices. Many feel that a successful outcome to
Fundecitruss response to the canker problem,
increasing yields, and higher quality rootstock will
reduce the impact of disease on the industry.
- South Africa
- Total South African citrus production for
1998/99 is forecast at 1.26 million tons, an increase of
2 percent from the previous year. The increased
production is largely attributed to an increase in the
number of bearing orange trees. Total orange, grapefruit,
and lemon production is forecast to increase by 1, 3, and
8 percent, respectively.
- Total exports are forecast to reach
640,000 tons, with oranges accounting for 70 percent of
the total. Orange, lemon, and grapefruit exports are all
forecast slightly higher as the availability of fruit
increases in the 1998/99 season.
- For further information on
production, supply, distribution, and trade contact Mark
Petry, Horticultural and Tropical Products Division,
(202) 720-0897. For information on U.S. marketing
opportunities, contact Ted Goldammer at (202) 720-8498.
Last modified: Thursday, April 06, 2000