Citrus Fruit

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MARKET

- Citrus fruits production
- Consumption
- International Trade
- Orange Juice

Citrus fruits are the first fruit crop in international trade in terms of value. There are two clearly differentiated markets in the citrus sector: fresh citrus fruits market, with a predominance of oranges, and processed citrus products market, mainly orange juice. A major development over the last two decades of the XX century was the growth in trade in small citrus fruits, which include tangerines, clementines, mandarines and satsumas, at the expense of fresh oranges. This is due to the evolution of consumer preferences. Consumption of citrus fruit juices has also increased, thanks to preferences for convenience and healthy products, improvements in quality, competitive prices, promotional activity and technological advances in processing, storage and packaging. This increase boosted citrus juice production and international juice trade.

Citrus fruit production

World production of citrus fruit has experienced continuous growth in the last decades of the XX century. Total annual citrus production was estimated at over 105 million tons in the period 2000-2004. Oranges constitute the bulk of citrus fruit production, accounting for more than half of global citrus production in 2004. The rise in citrus production is mainly due to the increase in cultivation areas and the change in consumer preferences towards more health and convenience food consumption and the rising incomes. The following chart shows the evolution of world production for total citrus fruits and the different types of citrus:

World citrus fruit production 1961-2004 (in tons)

Source: UNCTAD from FAO data

Citrus fruits are produced all around the world. According to FAO data, in 2004, 140 countries produced citrus fruits. However, most production is concentrated in certain areas. Most citrus fruits are grown in the Northern Hemisphere, accounting for around 70% of total citrus production. Main citrus fruit producing countries are Brazil, the Mediterranean countries, the United States (where citrus fruits for consumption as fresh fruit are mainly grown in California, Arizona and Texas, while most orange juice is produced in Florida) and China. These countries represent more than two thirds of global citrus fruit production.

Geographical distribution of fresh citrus production

Source: UNCTAD from FAO data
* Note: Proportion of average annual production data for 2000-2004

For the different types of citrus fruits, major producing countries are the following, ranked as for 2004 FAO data:

Oranges Brazil, United States, Mexico, India, Spain, China, Iran, Italy, Egypt, Indonesia.
Small citrus Nigeria, China, Syria, Guinea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, Sierra Leone, Angola, Tunisia.
Lemons and limes Mexico, India, Iran, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, United States, China, Italy, Turkey.
Grapefruit United States, China, South Africa, Mexico, Israel, Cuba, Argentina, India, Turkey, Tunisia.

In the Mediterranean countries, citrus fruits are produced mainly for fresh fruit consumption. Spain is the leading producing country in the area. USA and Brazil are the leading producing countries of processed citrus fruits. In United States most of the production is consumed domestically. Actually, domestic consumption of orange juice is higher than US production. However, they still play a role as fresh citrus fruits exporter although the share of these exports versus domestic production remains at a relatively low level, between 5% and 7% in the early 2000s. Actually, domestic consumption of orange juice is higher than US production. However, they still play a role as fresh citrus fruits exporters (between 1978/79 and 1999/00 the percentage of exports of fresh oranges over domestic production ranged from 20 to 30 percent). In Asian countries production of citrus fruits is mainly consumed domestically.

Consumption

As the following chart shows, citrus fruits are mainly consumed in developed countries, although consumption per capita is increasing in developing countries as levels of income increase. There seems to be certain stagnation of citrus fruits consumption in developed countries.

Citrus fruit per capita consumption, 1961-2002 (kg/Cap/Yr)


Source: UNCTAD from FAO data
* Note: ic : industrialized countries, dc: developing countries

According to FAO, fresh orange consumption is declining in developed countries mainly due to two reasons: it is being replaced by orange juice consumption and improvements in transportation and storage favor wider and longer availability of substitute fruits. However, fresh orange consumption expanded in many developing countries, especially in emerging economies such as Mexico, India, Argentina, Brazil and China.

International trade

Exports of fresh citrus fruits represent roughly 10% of total citrus fruit production. The following chart shows the evolution of citrus fruit exports in the last decades of the nineties for total citrus fruits and the different types of fruits included in the group:

World citrus fruit exports 1961-2003 (in tons)

Source: UNCTAD from FAO data

The bulk of exports of fresh citrus fruits is situated in the Northern Hemisphere, accounting for around 62% of world fresh citrus fruit exports in 2003. The Mediterranean region plays a prominent role as fresh citrus exporter, providing nearly 60% of global fresh citrus fruits exports.

Geographical distribution of fresh citrus exports


Source: UNCTAD from FAO data
* Note: Proportion of average annual export data for 1999-2003

For the different types of citrus fruits, major exporting countries are the following, ranked as for 2003 FAO data:

Oranges Spain, South Africa, United States, Greece, Morocco, Netherlands, Turkey, Egypt, Australia, Italy
Small citrus China, Israel, South Africa, Cyprus, India, Netherlands, Pakistan, United States, Spain, Mexico
Lemons and limes

Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, United States, South Africa, Netherlands, Brazil, Italy, Greece

Grapefruit

United States, South Africa, Israel, Turkey, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Argentina, Cyprus, Bahamas

Southern Hemisphere countries, such as Argentina, Australia and South Africa are increasing their presence in international trade by providing off-season citrus fruits to the North. This has been favored by the improvements in storage and transportation technologies.

Major destinations of Mediterranean exports of fresh citrus fruits are the European Union countries. In the case of United States, primary destinations of fresh citrus fruits exports are Japan, Canada and Southeast Asian countries.

Geographical distribution of fresh citrus imports


Source: UNCTAD from FAO data
* Note: Proportion of average annual import data for 1999-2003

Orange juice

Citrus fruits processing accounts for approximately one third of total citrus fruit production. More than 80% of it is orange processing, mostly for orange juice production.

The major feature of the world market for orange juice is the geographical concentration of production. There are only two main players: the State of Florida in the United States and the State of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Production of orange juice between these two players makes up roughly 85 percent of the world market. The major difference between them is that Brazil exports 99 percent of its production while 90 percent of Florida’s production is consumed domestically and only 10 percent is exported. International trade in orange juice takes place in the form of frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ), in order to reduce the volume used, so that storage and transportation costs are lower.

The European Union is the largest importer of orange juice, accounting for over 80% of world orange juice imports. Most of imports by the EU and Japan come from Brazil. In North America, the United States and Canada consume mainly orange juice from Florida, while a small quantity of imports comes from Brazil.

Destination of Sao Paulo FCOJ exports


Source: UNCTAD from Abecitrus data

Global prospects for citrus fruits have been projected by FAO in Citrus production, demand and trade projections to 2005 and Projections of world production and consumption for citrus to 2010. For country specific information on the citrus fruits sector in the different producing and exporting countries, go to Country Links in the entry page. In addition, the Horticultural&Tropical products Division of United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provides useful insights for the citrus situation in the world, particularly Citrus - US & World Situation Presentation and Juices - US & World Situation Presentation. FAS Attaché Reports present the developments in the citrus fruits sector in several countries of interest.

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