After a complicated year of lower yields due to frosts in the Valparaíso, Metropolitana, and O’Higgins regions, Chilean citrus production is estimated up, according to a report by the USDA.
The report estimates lemon production to bounce back to 200,000 metric tons (MT) in 2022-23, assuming normal yields and no unexpected climatic events impacting production.
Likewise, orange production will increase by 22% to 200,000MT as production recovers. Fresh domestic consumption is also estimated up, increasing to 98,000MT, the USDA said.
Mandarin production will also rise by 39% and total 237,000MT following an increase in area planted and assuming normal yields.
Chilean mandarin producers export around 84% of commercial production, with the remaining 16% going to domestic consumption.
The U.S. is the top market for Chilean lemons. During the 2020-21 marketing year, Chile exported 65,682 MT to the U.S., which represented 64% of export volume. The South American country also exports lemons to Japan, China, and South Korea.
For oranges, the USDA forecasts exports to rise to 105,000MT due to recovered production. In the case of mandarins, the USDA projects that exports will increase by 39% totaling 200,000MT due to an increase in planted area and a return to normal yields.
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