World Fresh Citrus Situation
|Total Northern Hemisphere citrus production in 1999/2000 in major producing countries is estimated at 48.1 million tons, increasing 14 percent from the 1998/99 crop. Northern Hemisphere orange production in 1999/2000 is forecast at 27.3 million tons, increasing 17 percent from 1998/99, based mainly on large increases in U.S. and Spanish production, as well as increases in Greece, Egypt, and China. Northern Hemisphere tangerine production is forecast at 12.9 million tons, 13 percent above last years output. This higher production is due mainly to gains in the United States, Spain, China, and Japan. Selected Northern Hemisphere country grapefruit production is forecast at 3.2 million tons, roughly equal to the previous years output. Production of lemons and other citrus, mostly limes, are forecast to increase to 3.1 and 1.6 million tons, respectively. Total fresh citrus exports in 1999/2000 are forecast at 7.4 million tons, up 16 percent from the 1998/99 volume. Increases in U.S. orange and Spanish orange and tangerine exports are expected to account for much of this increase.|
Total citrus production in the United States in 1999/2000 is forecast at 14.8 million tons, 19 percent above the previous years poor harvest. Orange production in 1999/2000 is forecast to rebound to 11.2 million tons, up 24 percent from last years output. Production is forecast to increase in Florida by 15 percent and in California by 76 percent. Florida orange output is forecast to increase as growing conditions return to normal, though there is some late maturity in certain of the early varieties. California is forecast to rebound from the destructive freeze of December 1998, though Navels are a little below average in color and maturity. Grapefruit production in 1999/2000 is forecast at 2.2 million tons, down slightly from last years output.
Total U.S. citrus exports in 1999/2000 are forecast at 1.2 million tons, 45 percent higher than the previous years shipments, due to the rebound of California oranges. Orange exports in 1999/2000 are forecast to reach 600,000 tons, an increase of about 240 percent from the previous years freeze- damaged campaign. U.S. grapefruit exports in 1999/2000 are forecast to decrease slightly to about 425,000 tons.
U.S. oranges for processing in 1999/2000 are forecast at 9.0 million tons, up 19 percent from last years low processing levels, based on the higher Florida orange harvest.
Mexican citrus production is forecast at 4.5 million tons in 1999/2000, slightly above last years output. Unfavorably dry weather conditions during the first half of 1999, followed by heavy, damaging rains in the fall accounted for the continued low output. In Veracruz, 18,500 of a total of 151,000 acres are reported as damaged. Orange production in 1999/2000 is forecast at 3.0 million tons, up slightly from 1998/99, but down 10 percent from the 1997/98. Production is forecast to remain stable for the next 3-5 years, as increasing production costs and limited credit impede the industrys expansion.
Exports of oranges in 1999/2000 are forecast to return to 9,000 tons, declining sharply from 50,000 tons 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 Mexican oranges, which mostly originate in Sonora. Mexican exporters continue to explore Asian markets such as Hong Kong and Japan. In 1999/2000, Mexico will return to the role of a net importer of fresh oranges, buying exclusively from the United States.
The total Spanish citrus crop for 1999/2000 is forecast to increase by 14 percent, to 5.6 million tons. Orange, tangerine, and lemon production are forecast to increase by 10, 15, and 27 percent, respectively. Favorable weather conditions, mainly rains at the end of the summer and early fall, contributed to the higher crop. However, Tristeza was again a common problem with this years citrus crop.
Total area for citrus in Spain remains roughly the same, though some aging orange trees are being replaced with tangerines. In recent years, Spains tangerine sector has garnered higher prices relative to oranges both on the domestic and international market. The successful Spanish tangerines, mainly Clementines, are expected to continue to slowly increase their share of citrus production. However, further expansion in the citrus industry is hampered by pests, namely Tristeza and citrus miner.
Spain is the worlds largest citrus exporter, accounting for nearly 50 percent of total Northern Hemisphere exports. Citrus exports are expected to increase by 15 percent in 1999/2000 due to the increased 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 1999/2000 is forecast at 1.4 million tons, roughly the same as last years harvest. A drop in orange production is expected to be offset by higher tangerine production.
Citrus exports in 1998/99 are forecast at 580,000 tons, 8 percent below the previous years shipments, based on the smaller orange crop. Orange exports are forecast at 335,000 tons and tangerine exports are forecast at 245,000 tons. The proximity of the EU and the preferential duties applied to Moroccan citrus will continue to make the EU appealing to Moroccan exporters. The EU market is the destination for most of Moroccos top quality citrus, while Eastern Europe and Russia are the major markets for Moroccos second quality citrus. The East European countries are less demanding in quality and are often supplied with fruit that would normally go to the domestic market. Exports to Canada, the United States, and Poland have made up for the lower demand from the Former Soviet Union.
Turkish citrus production is forecast to grow by 11 percent in 1999/2000. Favorable weather this year, in addition to improved tree maintenance and cultivation techniques, have helped to increase production of oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Total Turkish exports are forecast to increase by 22 percent, to 555,000 tons. The majority of Turkish first quality fruit are exported to the European Union, while other fruit is consumed domestically or exported to parts of the Former Soviet Union, namely Russia and Ukraine.
Turkish citrus acreage continues to grow at a steady pace. Grapefruit and tangerine acreage is growing at about 5 percent per year, while orange and lemon acreage is growing by about 2 percent yearly. Most significantly, acreage devoted to exportable citrus is growing, as is the technical expertise. In only the past two years, Turkish exports of grapefruit, oranges, and lemons are estimated to have grown by 235, 294, and 370 percent, though from low initial levels. Please see FAS Attache Report TU0003 for more details on the Turkish grapefruit industry.
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. 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.
More restrictive tender specifications were implemented by the Cheju Citrus Cooperative, the administrator of the Korean Minimum Market Access (MMA) Quota, in December 1998. These measures proved to be unworkable in 1999 due to the California freeze and the resulting short supply. Korea, which normally fills the quota before summer, filled only 55 percent as of August. In order to fill the quota, a temporary auction system was held in 1999, but this system proved very cumbersome. The auction system seems unlikely to fill the 1999 MMA amount as a considerable amount of the MMA quota amount remained unfilled after a sixth auction was held in mid-December.
The United States dominates the Korean orange and grapefruit import markets, accounting for about 99 percent of the market. However, Korea approved South Africas phytosanitary protocol in 1999 and they now compete with the United States. Other countries currently seeking export approval to Korea are Australia, Spain, and Chile.
Japans total citrus imports in 1999/2000 are forecast to increase by 10 percent to 488,000 tons. Imports of fresh oranges are forecast to rebound by 70 percent in 1999/2000 as California Navel supplies recover from the previous years freeze. Imports of oranges from Spain, South Africa, and Mexico all increased to fill the gap left by the lower California harvest in 1998/99. Grapefruit imports Japan are forecast to fall slightly to 240,000 tons in 1999/2000, as the amount of top quality citrus is unlikely to meet the previous years very high level.
The market share of the United States of the Japanese citrus market is generally between 75 percent and 90 percent for oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. 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 November.
Chinas citrus production in 1999/2000 is forecast at 8.6 million tons, 13 percent above last years output. Tangerine production is forecast to increase by 13 percent to 5.7 million tons, though this output is still 17 percent below the 1997/98 output. Orange production is forecast to increase 12 percent, to 2.9 million tons.
Total citrus exports in 1998/99 are forecast at 156,000 tons, of which, tangerines make up 148,000 tons. 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 Guangdong 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.
It is too early to make reliable forecasts for the Southern Hemisphere for 1999/2000 (2000 harvest).
(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 Mark Petry at 202-720-0897. For information on marketing contact Ted Goldammer at 202-720-8498.)