Last week, Pakistan’s kinnow industry saw neighboring Iran lifting restrictions on the import of Pakistani kinnow. Pakistan is one of the top citrus producers in the world. Citrus contributes about 30% to the country’s total fruit output.
According to a report on the Pakistani citrus industry released by the China-Pakistan Agricultural and Industrial Cooperation Information Platform, in 2020, Pakistan earned its highest export revenue from kinnow of $222 million, from an export volume of 370,000 tons. The report also points out that most of the citrus fruits produced by Pakistan are consumed in foreign markets. Among the exported varieties, kinnow is the most important one.
However, as old varieties are wearing out, kinnow quality is dropping. For years, there has been no major breakthrough in kinnow varieties. Among the export kinnow, only 2.6% goes to developed countries, mostly because consumers in these markets favor seedless citrus. Such a trend is gradually expanding to other parts of the world. Currently, seedless varieties represent 61% of total citrus export worldwide, which leads to a sharp decline in the price of Pakistani kinnow by more than 50% from 2016 to 2020.