Big Bump in Chilean Citrus Exports is Predicted for 2023

Big Bump in Chilean Citrus Exports is Predicted for 2023

Chilean citrus production and exports should bounce back in a big way in 2023, a new USDA report predicts. Exports plummeted last season due to frost.

U.S. imports of Chilean citrus peak from May through November. Between November 2021 through October 2022, U.S. imports of Chilean citrus were valued at $328.5 million, down about 20% from the same period the previous year, USDA trade statistics reveal. 

Chilean citrus yields in 2022 decreased due to frost during the winter in the Valparaíso, Metropolitana and O’Higgins regions. Because of the frost, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Santiago office estimated lemon production at 140,000 metric tons in the 2022 marketing season, down 30% from the previous season. 

For 2023, the USDA report said Chilean lemon production should bounce back to 200,000 metric tons, assuming normal yields. Lemon acreage is estimated at 21,000 in Chile in 2023, up 5.7% from 2022 and up more than 40% from 2016.

In 2023, Chilean exports of lemons are expected to reach 100,000 metric tons, up from 60,000 metric tons in 2022. The lemon marketing year starts April, with the bulk of exports taking place between June and September. The U.S. is the top market for Chilean lemons, taking about 65,682 metric tons in 2021, or about 65% of total Chilean lemon exports.

Chilean orange production for 2023 will increase to 200,000 metric tons, up 22% from 164,000 metric tons in 2022, according to the report.

The report estimates Chilean orange planted area at 15,814 acres in 2023, up 0.5% from 2022. Central Chile is the main growing region for oranges, with the Metropolitana region accounting for 39.3% of the orange area planted and the O’Higgins region representing 31% of the orange area.

Chilean orange exports will reach total 105,000 metric tons in 2023, according to the report, up more than 20% from 2022, the report said. Chile’s orange marketing years starts in April, with the bulk of fruit shipped between July and September, the report said. The U.S. is the main export destination for Chilean oranges, the report said.

 Mandarin citrus production in Chile will jump 39.4% in 2023 to 237,000 metric tons, according to the report. The planted area for mandarins was estimated at close to 33,400 acres in 2023, up from 27,600 acres in 2022.