Grapefruit and oranges projected to lose market share to other citrus and non-citrus fruits

US citrus production is projected to continue its long-term decline before stabilising through 2033, according to a report from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of the Chief Economist.

California citrus

The trend is attributed to declining orange and grapefruit production alongside increasing production of lemons and tangerines.

In the report, USDA Agricultural Projections to 2033, total US citrus production is projected to fall from about 11.2bn lbs (5.08m tonnes) in 2022 to approximately 9.9bn lbs (4.49m tonnes) in 2024. Production is then projected to remain fairly stable for several years, with 11.1bn lbs (5.03m tonnes) produced in 2033.

By state, California is expected to remain the biggest producer of fresh oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and lemons but is expected to see mild reductions to the volume of its grapefruit and orange crops. Grapefruit and oranges are projected to lose market share to other citrus and non-citrus fruits. California production of lemons and tangerines, including easy-peel mandarins, is expected to increase throughout the projection period.

Florida production of oranges, grapefruit and tangerines is expected to continue its decades-long decline as citrus groves are converted to other uses.

The total value of citrus production in the US is projected to increase by 25 per cent during the 2022/23 period due to higher prices. The projected farm value is pegged at US$2.98bn in 2022, rising to US$3.7bn in 2033.

According to the report, net farm income for all agriculture is expected to decrease by US$7.3bn, or 4.8 per cent, from US$151.1bn in 2023 to US$143.8bn in 2024. Net farm income is projected at US$123.6bn in 2033. Lower cash receipts, due to lower commodity prices, are the primary contributors to the projected decline in net farm income for 2024 relative to 2023.