“Life is better with lemons.”

New tendencies in the Chilean citrus production in times of pandemic

In 2020, under the influence of the pandemic, the world demand for citrus fruit increased by 15%. At the moment, it is not certain if the change in human consumption habits was temporary or will stabilize. According to a UTILITAS analysis other factors may influence the performance of citrus exports in the long term.


Chilean producers focus on the production of medium size lemons, which are the most demanded in all markets, particularly size 140.

Also, seedless varieties such as Eureka Seedless are gaining popularity.

57% of Chilean production goes to the United States. To export to this market, the producer has to get the orchards to pass the “Systems Approach”. This protocol, approved in 2018, allows a USDA inspection at origin; eliminating fumigation at destination.

Korea and China have recently opened their doors for Chilean citrus, however with high demands regarding the phytosanitary treatment of the orchard.


Last season, the orange market reached historic records due to the pandemic.

Fukumoto, the variety of good coloration and early harvest, is one of the most cultivated in Chile. This variety does not reach the sweetness required by Asian countries, so it is exported to the United States.

Medium to large sizes (56 to 72) are the most requested by supermarkets. Schools, hotels and restaurants buy smaller sizes. But in times of pandemic, these are diminished. 

In the Asian market the most popular varieties are those with a high concentration of sugars such as M7 or Lane Late.


The main and almost only current market for Chilean mandarins is the US, mainly supplied with the Murcott variety, known as Nadorcott in Europe, where must be paid a Royalty (patented variety), which reduces returns since both the exporter and the importer have to pay to be able to sell it.

In addition, there is a lot of competition from South Africa and the prices are not as attractive as those of the US. Today, it is in debt to the producers by not finding other markets for this variety and that in turn allows diversifying the risk , avoiding the problems that monomarkets can cause.

The UTILITAS analysis concludes that in order to maximize the yield of citrus exports, it is necessary to favor fruits of good quality and, if possible, without seeds.

In terms of sizes, intermediate sizes can be exported as they meet requests. Very large or very small sizes have more difficulty in marketing and tend to have lower prices.

Easyfresh operates  two offices in Chile: Port Montt and Santiago. Please contact sales.chile@easyfresh-logistics.com to transport your citrus.  

Source; https://www.fructidor.com

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