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[Press Release] World Citrus Organisation Announces Southern Hemisphere Forecast and Elects New Co-Chairs

April 23, 2024

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.

April 19, 2024 – On April 18, World Citrus Organisation members gathered for their fifth annual general meeting. During the AGM, the WCO presented the consolidated data of the production and export forecasts for the forthcoming 2024 Southern Hemisphere citrus season. The preliminary forecast was collected thanks to WCO members in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa and Uruguay. In addition, the association also marked its first change in leadership with the election of a new steering committee that will guide its work in the upcoming two years.

During the AGM, the preliminary forecast for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere citrus season was presented to representatives from the citrus sector in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa and Uruguay. Citrus production is expected to decrease by 0.77% compared to the previous year, with an estimated production of 24,338,123 metric tons. Exports, however, are expected to continue increasing, with a projected growth of 7.45% compared to 2023 to reach 4,156,879 metric tons.

Orange production is forecast to decrease by 5.66% compared to 2023, with 15,478,167 metric tons in total. Soft citrus production is expected to increase significantly (+11.58%, 3,325,829 metric tons in total). A 5.69% increase is projected for lemon production (3,244,857 metric tons in total), while grapefruit production should decline by 3.89% (to 532,539 metric tons in total). Limes are forecast to reach 1,756,731 metric tons, which is 10.57% above the 2023 figure.

The Southern Hemisphere season has been negatively impacted by difficult climatic conditions, as drought-like conditions in the Southern Hemisphere negatively affected production. However, expectations have improved recently, leading to only a slight decrease in production.

The WCO marks its first leadership transition, demonstrating its transition towards full maturity, as demonstrated by the switch in leadership from the two previous co-chairs, Justin Chadwick (for the Southern Hemisphere) and José Antonio García (for the Northern Hemisphere), to a new team formed by Sergio del Castillo (for the Southern Hemisphere) and Badr Bennis (for the Northern Hemisphere), who will guide the work of the WCO over the upcoming two years.

The two outgoing co-chairs highlighted the WCO’s notable achievements since its founding, quadrupling its membership and making the WCO a notable forum for citrus sector actors to exchange perspectives and data on matters of common concern. The WCO has launched over the last five years new instruments like common data reporting formats and interactive databases for members with the latest production and trade forecast data, dedicated working groups to explore ways to boost the marketing and the promotion of all citrus categories, hosted physical and online events allowing the sector to discuss and interact, helped further the knowledge of actors, and liaised with the media to help promote the visibility of the sector.

Image: Pixabay

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