Figures presented as World Citrus Organisation gathers for annual Southern Hemisphere forecast and elections

Southern Hemisphere citrus production is expected to reach 24.832m tonnes in 2022, an increase of 4.85 per cent on the previous year. Exports are projected to grow 4.91 per cent to 4.141m tonnes.

The figures, based on preliminary estimates by industry associations in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa, and Uruguay, were released by the World Citrus Organisation (WCO) at its annual general meeting on 1 June.

Orange production is forecasted to increase by 5.01 per cent to 16.597m tonnes. Soft citrus production is expected to remain stable, dipping 0.11 per cent to 3.045m tonnes.

Lemon output is set to grow 8.28 per cent to 4.754m tonnes, while grapefruit production is expected to fall by 0.58 per cent to 436,386 tonnes.

On the processing side, a total of 13.21m tonnes of citrus are expected to be destined to the juice market – an 8.32 per cent increase on last year.

The meeting also saw the re-election of WCO’s current co-chairs for a second term: South Africa, represented by Justin Chadwick of the Citrus Growers’ Association and Spain, represented by José Antonio García of Ailimpo.

Philippe Binard, WCO secretary general, commented: “Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, a positive trend of consumers’ demand for fruit and vegetables was noted, in particular for citrus fruit, widely recognised for its high nutritional value, notably in terms of vitamin C content. The large volume available is positive news as it will meet this increased demand”.

Eric Imbert of CIRAD said: “Southern Hemisphere citrus exports continue to grow, especially lemons and easy peelers. The Southern Hemisphere today represents 27 per cent of the global citrus market”.

Forecast information was followed by a review of the past season’s results and analysis of the estimations for the current season with a focus on ongoing market challenges, including rising costs and logistics disruptions.

The WCO also welcomed new members, with the organisation’s membership now totalling 34 associations and companies.

Soft citrus production is broadly stable

Soft citrus production is broadly stable