Citrus production in Australia has experienced favorable conditions after above average rainfalls in all of the major growing areas across 2020 and 2021. Most irrigation storage dams are now at or near capacity supporting the irrigation program for the forecast marketing year (MY) 2021/22 crop. Orange production is forecast to increase by two percent to 535,000 metric tons (MT), and tangerine/mandarin production at 190,000 MT, a six percent increase over MY 2020/21.
Orange exports are forecast at 190,000 MT, a 19 percent increase over MY 2020/21, and tangerine/mandarin exports are set to reach a record 90,000 MT. Harvest labor shortages over the last two seasons due to Australia’s international border closure have been a major concern for citrus growers.
Australia’s border is set to open in December 2021 and at the same time the Federal Government has established a new Agricultural Work visa with the pilot commencing at the same time, which will provide some harvest labor relief for MY 2021/22.