After the formal adoption of the Statutes of the organization in March 2020, the Secretariat of the World Citrus Organization (WCO) has just compiled and published the first production and export forecasts for the next citrus campaign in the southern hemisphere. The forecast report is prepared with information from the sector associations of Argentina, Australia, Chile, Peru, South Africa, and Uruguay. The Secretariat is working closely with Brazil and Bolivia to include their data in the forecast soon.
The interim report shows that the total citrus harvest in 2020 for the southern hemisphere is expected to reach 8,387,341 tons, i.e. 3% lower than the production achieved in 2019. Exports are expected to increase by 12% reaching 3,486,883 tons, which could be explained as a result of the increased demand for citrus by consumers in the context of COVID-19, due to the nutritional benefits associated with citrus and to an increase in domestic consumption. A total of 2,426,154 tons of citrus will be destined for industrial transformation (though the data from Brazil is pending confirmation), which represents a 15% decrease when compared to 2019.
By citrus category, soft citrus, lemon, and lime show stable figures, with production volumes similar to those of 2019, while orange is expected to decrease slightly (-6%). Grapefruit production will increase by 3% over the previous year. The expected export volumes show increases in all categories, with a 32% increase over 2019 in the case of lemons and limes.
The WCO is now fully operational, with a full schedule of activities for 2020. In July, an internal meeting with members will review the situation of the sector, taking stock of the latest consumption trends and the experiences of producer countries in relation to the coronavirus crisis. In fact, in recent months, citrus has emerged as one of the most attractive fruit categories for consumers, given its health properties. Consequently, nutrition and the promotion of citrus consumption will also be discussed with the members of the association at the next meeting.
Summary of the production and export forecast for the southern hemisphere 2020 *
* Based on data from Argentina, Australia, Chile, Peru, South Africa, and Uruguay.
For more information:
World Citrus Organization (WCO)