Posts Tagged “Chilean citrus imports”

U.S. is Importing Greater Volumes of Chilean Lemons, Mandarins

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U.S. imported Chilean lemon and mandarin by the U.S. is prompting ever greater numbers of producers in the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Metropolitana and O’Higgins to switch to the citrus crops from avocados and table grapes, a new USDA report shows. The increase in lemon and mandarin volumes is continuing as orange production gradually declines, with demand in China also a major factor.

According to a newly-released USDA analysis, lemon export volumes to the key U.S. market increased by 20.6% between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, while exports to China rose by 15.5%.

Building on steady production and export gains over the past decade, Chile shipped 101,996 tons of lemons during 2020/21, including 65,682 tons to the U.S. In fact, the U.S. accounted for 64.4% of the total and represented by some way Chile’s biggest export market for lemons. Exports to China also grew to 6,532 tons in 2020/21 compared with 5,657 tons the previous season.

Exports to the U.S. during the 2020/21 period were worth $48.9m, up 11.8% from the $43.7m recorded during 2019/21. Revenue generated from exports to Chile’s third-biggest market for lemons, China, also reached $7.7m, a 145.6% rise from 2019/20’s $6.7m. 

However, total global export revenue fell by 2.2% to $91.4m, while the export value of lemon volumes shipped to Japan – the second-placed market – also decreased to $15.4m from $17.1m, a 9.9% decrease.

As with lemons, mandarins experienced a productive 2020/21 season, with some 183,957 tons exported to the U.S., a 6.8% increase from the season before. Also in common with lemons, the U.S. is the dominant export market for Chilean mandarins, receiving almost 95% of the 193,821 tons exported worldwide. The other notable export increase was to Chile’s third-largest market for mandarins, the UK, where exports grew by over 71% from 2019/20 to 2020/21 to 2,795 tons. 

The UK also proved to be the highpoint in terms of export revenue generated, with export value up by almost 47% to $3.3m compared with $2.2m the season before. However, the value of exports to the U.S. dipped by 2.2% to $177.1m from 181m, while overall worldwide export value also decreased by 3.3% to $188.3m from $194.7m.

Total mandarin (including mandarins, clementines and tangerines) planted area rose by 32.6% between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons to 11,194 hectares, continuing a significant increase in production during the past 10 years. By contrast, only 3,629 hectares were in production during 2011/12. 

According to the USDA, Murcott has been the preferred variety for much of this time, however – with one eye on China – Chilean mandarin producers are reportedly diversifying into newer varieties, such as Orogrande, Clemenules and Tango.

Almost half of the total planted area is located in Coquimbo region (47%), totalling 5,309 hectares, with the remainder largely accounted for by growers in O’Higgins (21.9%) and Valparaíso (20.7%).

In the case of lemons, the planted area grew from 5,911 hectares in 2016/17 to 8,038 hectares in 2021/22, with production centered on central and northern areas from December to March for the domestic market and June to September for export.

Central Metropolitana region accounts for the bulk of production (41%), followed by Valparaíso and Coquimbo (25% and 20%) and O’Higgins (12%). However, planted area in O’Higgins has grown by over 69% in the past three years, thanks to moderate temperatures and high availability of water, the report said. 

Although the report found that Chile’s total orange producing area increased by 07% to 6,371 hectares, it was not enough to reverse the downward trend that has been evident over the past 10 years. In the 2011/12 season, the country’s orange planted area spanned some 7,389 hectares, however this has gradually decreased as producers have shifted to mandarins and lemons because of their higher profitability.

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Volume Increase is Projected for Chilean Citrus to U.S.

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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.


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Chilean Citrus Not Affected by Rain; Growth is Predicted

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Chilean rains hitting the central-southern zone of Chile have had widespread impacts, including damage to numerous fruit crops. However, the citrus industry appears to have been unaffected and is in fact forecasting a rise in exports in 2021 over the previous season.

Crispagold, a citrus and avocado reports on the industry’s export projections and its plans to increase its share of international markets such as China.

This year’s estimates show nearly a 20 percent growth, including at least four million boxes of clementines in the industry.

In 2020, the Chilean citrus industry had a decrease in orange volumes of 5.8 million boxes versus 6.5 million the previous year. This year 15 percent more fruit is seen, which would reach the same level as 2019, over 6 million boxes as an industry. 

The U.S. will import 85 and 90 percent of Chile’s clementines and oranges respectively. The U.S. imports 50 to 60 percent of Chilean lemons, with 40 to 50 percent going to Japan and Korea.

Each year Chile exports about 550,000 boxes of oranges, 180,000 boxes of mandarins, 120,000 boxes of clementines, and 35,000 boxes of lemons.

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Big Growth in Imports by the U.S. of Chilean Citrus

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Chilean citrus imports by the U.S. grew at double-digit rates in 2018.

The Chilean citrus import season ended with easy-peelers in late October and early November.  Navels are imported from June through October or so and lemons are imported by the U.S. from May through October.

This makes for a good match with the citrus season in the U.S., because 90 percent of Chile’s mandarins are shipped to the U.S. market.

Chilean citrus imports are very similar to the same varieties grown in the U.S., so that makes it very in high demand and assures increasing volume in coming years.

Chilean citrus imports to the U.S. this year have been up 30 percent.

Chilean clementine and mandarin exports grew from about 110,000 metric tons in 2017 to about 165,000 metric tons this year.

Chilean navel shipments to the U.S. — representing about 90 percent of all Chile’s navel exports — will show about a 12 percent increase compared with a year ago, and lemon shipments are projected to be 10 percent higher.

The U.S. takes about 50 to 60 percent of Chile’s lemon exports.

Chilean growers are continuing to plant more citrus trees because of strong demand from world markets.

The number of citrus exporters and new exporters, as well as citrus growers in Chile continues to increase.  This is different than for crops such as stone fruit and grapes, since there is not as much potential for growth in demand compared with citrus.

Observers believe eventually the Chilean citrus industry begin consolidating.   But currently the citrus industry continues attracting new players as it has been for the past decade.

Chile faces a similar challenge to U.S. grower/shippers as growing and labor costs increase and there is less labor availability.  This is requiring growers to become more efficient in the future, with more mechanization and increased yields.  There also is increasing competition.

Peru continues to increase its mandarin production in similar fashion to Chile.   Uruguay is looking to increase citrus exports.  Argentina lemons are now being exported to the U.S., and South African navel shipments to the U.S are growing.

This is resulting in more competition in the U.S. market, which is pressuring Chilean growers to open up new markets, diversify and offer new varieties to new markets.

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Chile, South Africa Citrus Imports Looking Good

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mandarinasChilean citrus imports, primarily  through ports at Philadelphia and Los Angeles will be good in June or July, although heaviest imports will occur from mid-August through October with mandarins and navels.  South African imports also look good.

Mandarin volume from Chile is expected to be up 39% over last year to 63,267 tons.

That growth will fuel the second half of Chile’s easy peeler export season, which starts in late August.

Clementines, which most retailers start seeing in May, are estimated to be up 13% to 32,816 tons.

Clementines and lemons from the South American nation started about three weeks earlier than last year. Up to the week of May 2, Chile had shipped 102,000 boxes of clementines to the U.S.

In 2015, exports of all citrus items to North America reached record levels of 165,000 tons, or about 81% of all exports.

In easy peelers, Chile surpassed 55% market share last year in the U.S.

Easy peeler volume from Chile should continue to see double-digit growth.  Last year, it was estimated that combined clementine and mandarin volume would reach 100,000 tons over the next few years, and the estimate for this year is already very close to that.  The Citrus Committee’s official 2016 estimate for easy peelers exceeds 96,000 tons.

Total global citrus exports from Chile climbed 30% in 2015, with the largest increase, 57%, attributed to mandarins.

Imported citrus at Long Beach – grossing about $3700 to Dallas.

South African Imports

The initial container vessel of the season with South African clementines arrived in the U.S. on May 18, two weeks ahead on maturity compared to last year.

South African clementines are expected to peak in June and early July, right around the Independence Day weekend.  The season shkould finish a little early due to early maturity.  First navel shipments are expected to arrive June 25th with peak volumes hitting the market in July and August.

South African citrus is available from late May through October.  This is a good time frame as it contra-season to the domestic citrus seasons in California, Florida and Texas.
Here is an overview of availability of South African citrus varieties:
• Clementines: late May-  July
• Navels: July – September
• Midknights: late September through October
• Late season mandarins: late August through Mid- October

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WA Apple Shipments, Chilean Citrus Import Wrap Up

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001There have been nearly 19.6 million boxes of the 2015-16 crop of Washington apples shipped as of November 1st.   This represents 16.5 percent of the projected 118.4 million boxes of fruit harvested.  Meanwhile, Chilean citrus imports continue to grow.

The amount shipped thus far at this time a year ago is more than the 15.5 percent shipped at this point on the 2013 crop, which was of a similar size of 115 million boxes.  The harvest of the 2015-16 apple crop began earlier this year and progressed quickly.  The Washington apple shipping estimate is likely to change as growers get a firmer handle on the total crop size.

Washington apple shipments – grossing about $6800 to New York City.

Chilean Citrus Imports

Chile shipped nearly 204,000 tons of Navels, lemons and easy peelers (clementines and Mandarins) globally, with 165,000 tons, or 81 percent, coming to the United States and Canada between May and October 2015.

Total citrus exports from Chile climbed 30 percent over the previous season. Concerning global Chilean citrus exports, easy peelers represented 37 percent, oranges 33 percent and lemons 30 percent. The largest increase in terms of shipping volumes vs. last season corresponded to late Mandarins (57 percent), followed by lemons (43 percent), oranges (18 percent) and then clementines (11 percent).

The most impressive growth was with Mandarins, as North America volume skyrocketed to 42,124 tons from 27,354 tons — an increase of 54 percent.

Observers foresee 20 percent annual growth in combined volume of clementines and Mandarins for at least the next three years, so total volume will soon exceed 100,000 tons.

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