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Egypt remains the world’s largest orange exporter

Egypt is on track to become an agricultural powerhouse in Africa. In 2021, Egypt exported 5,6 million tons of agricultural goods, compared with 5,1 million tons in 2020. According to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, the export of citrus fruit was most significant, with 1,8 million tons exported in 2021.

Egypt is currently the world’s biggest exporter of oranges, which accounts for around 80% of its total citrus production. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Egypt is expected to retain this ranking, despite an almost 200 000t drop in exports to 1,45 million tons due to unfavourable weather conditions and their impact on production. Egypt’s orange exports in 2021 were estimated to be worth around US$843 million (about R13,2 billion).

However, with Russia and Ukraine being amongst the country’s biggest importers of oranges, Egypt may have to find additional markets for its produce, as the Russia-Ukraine war looks set to continue. In terms of expenditure share, Russia imports approximately 20% of its oranges from Egypt.

According to the USDA, Russia imported about 250,000t of oranges from Egypt in the 2020/21 marketing year, with Ukraine importing around 50,000t. Russia and Ukraine thus account for around 20% of Egypt’s total orange exports.

Saudi Arabia: Egypt’s main competitors on this market include South Africa, Spain and Lebanon. However, at 245 569t in 2021, Egypt exported significantly more to this market than South Africa (61,740t), Spain (10,788t) and Lebanon (8,380t). In 2020, Egypt exported 254,486t, South Africa 89,373t, Lebanon 24,358t and Spain 15,348t.

EU: South Africa and Morocco are Egypt’s main competitors on the European market. In 2021, Egypt’s orange exports to the EU increased 22% year-on-year to reach 308,384t, while South Africa exported 158,932t (a drop from the 453,745t exported in 2020), and Morocco exported 45,454t.


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