Strong global demand for citrus is fuelling a boom in Peruvian mandarin exports. Data from Lima-based Peruvian Chamber of Commerce (CCL) show that shipments have almost doubled in five years, reaching US$135m in 2016 compared with US$77m 2012.
“In the last year alone, exports increased 20 per cent, the trend being driven by the rise in demand for this fruit around the world,” said CCL’s Carlos García.
Mandarins make up almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of Peru’s citrus offer and within this category Murcott has become the star performer in the late season window.
Peru’s mandarin acreage is growing at rate of around 1,000 ha a year, mainly along the central coast region and in Libertad and Ancash in the north and Nazca and Palpa in the south.
Overall, Peruvian citrus exports are forecast to grow by 10 per cent to 140,500 tonnes according to the latest estimates from ProCitrus. This is an improvement on earlier estimates, which pointed to a 5 per cent increase in 2017.
The US is the biggest market, taking around 35 per cent of the export total. It is followed by the UK (26 per cent), the Netherlands (15 per cent) and Canada (11 per cent).
ProCitrus president Sergio Del Castillo said shipments to China are expected to rise this year.
Exports to this market reached 60 containers – equivalent to 1,300 tonnes – in 2016.
Global mandarin production oscillates between 28m and 30m tonnes a year. China is the biggest producer (24 per cent), followed by Brazil (14 per cent), the US (7 per cent), India (7 per cent) and Mexico (6 per cent). Peru is in eleventh place with 1 per cent of the total.