Australia’s citrus crop is expected to bounce back in 2021 due to much-needed rains in 2020 in most citrus-producing regions. The 2020/21 orange crop is estimated at 535,000 tons, and tangerine/mandarin production is projected to reach 175,000 tons, both representing around a 10% rise from a difficult 2019/20, according to FAS/Canberra data. The citrus industry is concerned about labour availability during 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Federal and state governments are working with the industry to try and mitigate this impact.
Orange exports are forecast at 195,000 tons, up 3% from 2019/20, while tangerine/mandarin exports are expected to surge by 29% to 80,000 tons. The major export destination for Australian oranges is China, accounting for 35-50% of the total. Total Chinese imports of oranges over the last five years have increased by 169%, which still falls some way short of Egypt’s growth in the Chinese market. Tense trade relations with China have created some concern among Australian citrus exporters.