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Israel's citrus exports, production to rise

A new USDA report has pegged citrus production to increase during 2008/09 despite a cold spell early in 2008

Israel's citrus exports, production to rise

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The 2008/09 citrus crop will jump approximately 2-5 per cent in Israel, hitting a total of approximately 570,000 tonnes-590,000 tonnes, with 170,000 tonnes going for export.

That is the verdict of a new GAIN report released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has said that yields will increase despite a cold spell that destroyed nearly 30,000 tonnes of fruit in mid-January 2008.

Overall production growth is driven by an increased orange harvest, the USDA said, with a jump to 170,000 tonnes from 120,000 tonnes a result of a fluctuations phenomenon that produces a low yield one year followed by a high yield the following year.

Meanwhile, The Israeli easy peeler crop is expected to fall to 139,000 tonnes during 2008/09, with the lemon crop dropping from 35,000 tonnes to 30,000 tonnes and the grapefruit yield decreasing to 238,000 tonnes from 242,000 tonnes last year.

170,000 tonnes for export represents a slight increase on 2007/08's total of 166,000, although the figure is 0.8 per cent drop in terms of the percentage of the overall crop.

Exports of the sweetie grapefruit variety to Japan are forecast to reach a nine-year record low due to unfavourable exchange rates, the report said, with a shift towards EU, South Korean and Chinese exports instead.

Exports of Pomelos to Japan and Europe are also expected to fall during 2008/09, the USDA said.

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