The Chilean citrus season finished at the end of October. “Our season normally runs from May till late October, when we speak about mandarins, including clementine. This year´s production of the early varieties increased about 50% and the late varieties up to 40%. This resulted in much bigger volumes available for export. This year we exported over 170.00 tons compared to 115.000 tons of mandarins last year”, starts the Chilean Citrus Committee chairman, Juan E. Ortuzar.
Citrus exports from Chile to all markets (metric tons), of which the biggest export market is the United States market.
He explains that the high production volume was even 10% higher than the initially forecast growth for this season, as a result from new plantings that gave good production. “We expect even more growth in mandarins for next season. The industry itself is growing as well. More mandarins are demanded in the market, so we expect there will be enough space for the growing Chilean supply.”
“We expect to increase our mandarin export to Europe, especially during the months September and October. As this is a gap in the market, where other origins aren´t in the market like Spain, Argentina and South Africa. While demand is increasing, this gap is a very good opportunity for Chilean mandarins”, continues Juan.
Evolution of citrus exports from Chile over the years (metric tons)
Sending more volumes into this new market may help balance the prices between different markets says Juan. “In general, prices have been quite high in the United States market, which Europe couldn´t guarantee to Chilean exporters as supply was short. As the volumes supplied grow and prices tend to settle at a lower level, the mandarins can be more affordable to everyone and so the market can continue growing. It’s good to have very good prices in a certain market, however, we will need to be realistic with future prices that can make this category grow in both markets.”