The Chilean Citrus Committee of ASOEX estimates a 6% increase in citrus exports, encompassing navels, lemons, and easy peelers (clementines and mandarins).
With a total citrus forecast of 387,000 metric tons, Chile expects to ship roughly 85% of all of its volume to the U.S. market, according to a news release from the group detailing the initial crop estimate.
Growth will continue to be driven by the easy peeler category, with a projected 7% increase for clementines (rising to 55,000 metric tons) and an 11% increase for mandarins (up to 145,000 metric tons), according to the news release. The estimated double-digit growth for mandarins in 2021 follows a 40% volume jump in 2020.
Lemons, of which an estimated 60% will be shipped to the U.S., are expected to see a 3% increase, according to the release.
Chilean navel volume will stay relatively the same, at around 89,000 metric tons.
According to the committee, the overall increase in volume is due primarily to the expansion of plantings over the past decade. There are now 55,105 acres of citrus in Chile.
“Last year’s rain in the central region replenished reservoirs and helped boost production,” Juan Enrique Ortuzar, president of the Chilean Citrus Committee, said in the release.