China: Fresh citrus production and consumption forecast to continue upward

In line with historical trends, fresh citrus production and consumption are forecast to continue upward in MY2020/21 to 35.6 million tons and 34 million tons, respectively. However, looking ahead, the rate of production growth is expected to slow as prices drop and consumer demand reaches its saturation point.

Demand for imported citrus in MY2020/21 is expected to remain soft, down 25% overall from pre-COVID levels, though will return as the economy rebounds. Lower frozen concentrate orange juice imports and production show domestic industry challenges and signal consumers’ changing preferences to juices made from fresh fruits. Chinese countermeasures for COVID-19 will continue to add complication and cost to cold chain imports, including citrus.

Orange production in MY2020/21 is forecast to grow to 7.5 Million MT (million tons), driven mainly by the new trees planted a few years ago in Jiangxi and other provinces that have started to produce more fruits.

The MY2019/20 estimate was revised up to 7.4 million tons as growers and distributors recently reported a much larger crop as a result of plentiful rainfalls during the marketing year.

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