USDA Publishes Reports on Trade and Production for Chile, South Africa, and Argentina

CHILE

On June 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) published the Citrus Semi-Annual Report for Chile. Below is a summary of report estimates for lemons, oranges, and mandarins for marketing year (MY) 2023/24.

Lemons:

  • Acreage is forecast to increase by 0.5 percent to 20,139 acres from the previous year.
  • Production estimates show an increase of 6.7 percent to 175,000 MT from the previous year.
  • Export volume is expected to continue its rebound, increasing by 8.8 percent over the prior year and reaching 74,000 MT. In MY 2022/23, lemon exports increased by 21.4 percent over MY 2021/22 to 68,000 MT as the market recovered from poor weather and high freight costs. In MY 2022/23, the U.S. received 61.4 percent of total Chilean lemon exports by volume, followed by Japan (25.1 percent), South Korea (8.2 percent), and China (2.4 percent).
  • Imports are forecast to increase by 7.6 percent to 13,200 MT in MY 2022/23.

Oranges:

  • Acreage is predicted to decrease slightly by 0.9 percent to 15,567 acres.
  • Production will likely decrease by 1.6 percent to 177,000 MT.
  • Export volume predictions show a decrease of 3.1 percent year-on-year to 92,000 MT. MY 2022/23 exports had increased by 17.2 percent to 95,000 MT from the previous year. In MY 2022/23, the U.S. accounted for 89.8 percent of Chilean orange exports.
  • Imports are forecast to decrease by 18 percent to 1,396 MT. The U.S. is Chile’s largest orange supplier, accounting for 99 percent of total import volume.

Tangerines/Mandarins:

  • Acreage will likely increase slightly by 7.3 percent to 29,652 acres.
  • Production estimates show a decrease of 9.7 percent to 242,000 MT.
  • Exports are expected to increase by 10.5 percent to 211,000 MT. Mandarin exports in MY 2022/23 had increased by 80.3 percent to 236,907 MT from the previous year due to improved rainfall and no adverse impacts from an early frost. The U.S. accounted for 94.3 percent of the total Chilean mandarin export volume in MY 2022/23.
  • Imports in MY 2022/23 increased by 15.8 percent to 613 MT. The U.S. is Chile’s largest mandarin supplier, accounting for 46.1 percent of total imports, followed by Peru (28.8 percent).

SOUTH AFRICA

On June 25, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) published the Citrus Semi-Annual Report for South Africa, covering oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and lemons/limes for the 2023/24 marketing year (MY). Below are summaries of the report estimates for each variety.

Oranges:

  • Acreage remains unchanged at 106,230 acres.
  • Production is predicted to increase by 3.3 percent to 1.69 million metric tons (MMT) from the previous marketing year due to favorable weather conditions late in 2023.
  • Export volume is estimated to decrease by 12 percent over the prior year and reach 1.1 MMT. In MY 2022/23, the U.S. received 4.6 percent of total South African orange exports by volume. Exports to the EU—the top market, accounting for approximately 36 percent of orange exports—continue to be at risk in MY 2023/24 due to EU phytosanitary requirements affected by ongoing WTO consultations.
  • Imports will remain unchanged at 3,000 MT as domestic consumption remains steady.

Grapefruit:

  • Acreage is forecast to decrease by 1 percent to 19,768 acres from the previous year.
  • Production is estimated to increase by 1 percent to 420,000 MT.
  • Export volume will remain unchanged from the prior year at 218,000 MT. In MY 2021/22, the U.S. received 2.6% of total South African exports of grapefruit by volume. Notably, South Africa’s export of grapefruit to China fell by 51 percent year-over-year as it exported fewer processing-grade grapefruit to China, instead meeting domestic demand.
  • Imports totaled 7,600 MT in MY 2022/23 but are forecast to decrease by 34.2 percent to 5,000 MT in MY 2023/24.

Tangerines/Mandarins:

  • Acreage is forecast to increase by 1 percent to 66,718 acres, reflecting increased demand for soft citrus.
  • Production estimates show an increase of 8 percent to 780,000 MT from the previous year.
  • Export volume is forecast to grow by 8 percent over the prior year and reach 670,000 MT due to increasing production and investments in quality improvements. In MY 2022/23, the U.S. received 7.9 percent of total South Africa exports of tangerines/mandarins by volume. The EU is the largest South African tangerine/mandarin export market at about 25 percent market share.
  • Imports are expected stay flat at 3,000 MT in MY 2023/24.

Lemons/Limes:

  • Acreage is estimated to stay somewhat flat at 44,478 acres after having more than doubled over the past eight years.
  • Production forecasts show a 3 percent increase to 780,000 MT from the previous year. This follows a record production of 760,000 MT in 2022/23.
  • Export volume will increase slightly to 585,000 MT. The EU was the largest South African lemon/lime export market, with a 30 percent market share.
  • Imports are expected to decline to around 2,000 MT as domestic production will sufficiently meet local demand for most of the year.

ARGENTINA

On June 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) published a report outlining citrus production and trade trends in Argentina for marketing year (MY) 2023/24. Below is a summary of the report estimate for lemons and oranges.

Lemons:

  • Production has been revised down to 1.70 million metric tons (MMT).
  • Exports are estimated at 220,000 MT, decreasing in line with production trends. That said, since gaining market access to the U.S. in MY 2016/17, fresh lemon exports to the U.S. have exhibited an upward trend, increasing from 10,640 MT in the first year to nearly 75,000 MT in MY 2023/24.

Oranges:

  • Production is forecast at 653,000 MT, a decrease from the previous period.
  • Exports amounted to 35,000 MT in MY 2023/24 and shipped to a small group of countries, including Spain, Paraguay, and the Netherlands.

 

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