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[Press Release] World Citrus Organisation Announces Southern Hemisphere Forecast

June 05, 2022

This content has been published as provided by its author. It has only been modified from its original version to follow Produce Report editorial guidelines and for necessary website formatting.

On June 1, 2022, World Citrus Organisation (WCO) members gathered for their annual general meeting. During the AGM, the WCO Secretariat presented the consolidation of the production and export forecasts for the upcoming 2022 Southern Hemisphere citrus season. This preliminary forecast was collected from member industry associations in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa and Uruguay. Along with citrus market development updates, the meeting also saw the re-election of the WCO’s current co-chairs for a second mandate. Both South Africa and Spain, represented by the Citrus Growers’ Association and Ailimpo, were re-elected to head the organization for another two years.

During the WCO’s AGM, the preliminary forecast for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere citrus season was presented to representatives from the citrus sector. According to the forecast, which is based on information provided by industry associations in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa and Uruguay, citrus production is expected to increase by 4.85% compared to 2021 to reach 24,832,270 metric tons. Exports are also projected to increase to 4,140,547 metric tons, up 4.91% from the previous season. Philippe Binard, secretary general of the WCO, explained, “Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a positive trend of consumers’ demand for fruit and vegetables was noted, in particular for citrus fruit, widely recognised for its high nutritional value, notably in terms of vitamin C content. The large volume available is positive news as it will meet this increased demand.” On the processing side, a total of 13,210,832 metric tons of citrus are expected to be destined for the juice market — an 8.32% increase compared to 2021.

Orange production is forecast to increase by 5.01% compared to 2021, reaching 16,596,973 metric tons. Soft citrus production is expected to remain stable (−0.11%, 3,044,652 metric tons). An 8.28% growth is projected for lemon production (4,754,260 metric tons), while grapefruit production should decrease slightly (436,386 metric tons, −0.58% compared to 2021). According to Eric Imbert of the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the technical secretariat of the WCO, “The Southern Hemisphere citrus export continues to grow, especially lemons and easy peelers. The Southern Hemisphere today represents 27% of the global citrus market.” The forecast information was followed by a review of the past season’s results and analysis of the estimates for the current season with a focus on ongoing market challenges, including rising costs and logistics disruptions.

The WCO is led by a co-chairmanship of two country full members. Both South Africa and Spain, who have co-chaired the organization since its inception, were re-elected to head the organization for a second mandate of two years. South Africa is represented by the Citrus Growers’ Association under the guidance of Justin Chadwick and Spain is represented by Ailimpo under the helm of José Antonio Garcia Fernandez. The WCO additionally welcomed new members, with the organization’s membership now totaling 34 associations and companies.

Image: Unsplash

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