The Secretariat of the World Citrus Organization (WCO) has published the first production and export forecasts for the next citrus campaign in the southern hemisphere. 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 oranges are 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.

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. – freshplaza.com