CPF Nadorcott

Peruvian citrus export growth appeared to stall in 2021 following years of rapid growth. Figures from ProCitrus show that shipments to the end of November fell slightly by 0.014 per cent compared to the previous season. This compares to an increase of 40 per cent in the volume shipped in 2020.

Mandarins and lemons bucked the trend, the former jumping 44 per cent to US$259m compared to the previous year and the latter by 5 per cent. Orange exports fell by 20 per cent in volume.

Sergio del Castillo, manager of ProCitrus, said the current political unrest in the country, together with the new agrarian law passed at the end of 2020, had stalled investment in new citrus plantings in 2022.

Speaking to Gestión, he claimed the new law had stymied interest from investors in countries like Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Spain and Mexico, who had previously been attracted to the competitive advantages Peru offers in terms of seasonality and market access.

Instead, he said several producers are considering moving from less profitable varieties like Satsumas to more lucrative alternatives or abandoning citrus production altogether. Others would opt to sell their crop on the local market in order to reduce investment in costly inputs required for export markets.

Nevertheless, del Castillo said volumes could still increase this year due to the maturation of plantations planted just before the new agrarian law came into effect.