Posts Tagged “Chilean navel shipments”

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

By |

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.

Read more »