Charif Christian Carvajal, the former president of Shaffe (Association of Fresh Fruit Exporters of the Southern Hemisphere), and current marketing director of Asoex for the markets of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, analyzed the evolution of the citrus industry in the southern hemisphere during the Market Outlook Forum 2023, which was held from March 7 to 9 and was organized by Citrus Australia.
Carvajal highlighted that Shaffe's partners bring together shipments of more than 11 million tons, equivalent to 15.8 billion dollars, accounting for a 25% share in the global fruit trade. However, with the exception of Chile and South Africa, all citrus producers worldwide are projected to produce fewer citrus of all categories in the 2022/23 season due to a combination of negative factors, such as adverse weather events and rising agricultural input costs.
“South African production will increase by 6%, to 670,000 tons, due to sufficient rainfall and the entry into full production of new plantations.” In fact, Carvajal stated, South Africa is expected to harvest 1.7 million tons of oranges in the 2022/23 season, achieving a record for the third consecutive year.
“Meanwhile, Chilean production is expected to increase by 67,000 tons and reach 237,000 tons.”
"Peru has been affected by the increase in labor and fertilizer costs and by an anomalous climate, hence its production is expected to fall by 20,000 tons, to 550,000 tons. Argentina's lemon production will contract, as the country will have lower yields due to unfavorable weather conditions and higher input costs.” There are interesting growth projections for South Africa and Chile's lemon production.
“According to estimates, South Africa will increase its lemon production by 2%, thus producing a record 660,000 tons of lemons.” Meanwhile, Chile will increase its production by 60,000 tons and harvest 200,000 tons of lemons.
The representative also spoke about the challenges that the sector would face, indicating that inflation could reduce the demand for imported products. He highlighted the role that logistical and production costs could have on the campaign, as well as climate change, especially at times of production and harvest.