Photo: Eurofresh Distribution
Japan’s citrus crop is expected to recover in 2020/21 following a poor harvest in 2019/20, according to FAS/Tokyo data. Increased household consumption of oranges due to the COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to provide a modest boost to imports of fresh oranges. Following a COVID-19-related decline in food service demand in 2019/20 and resulting high levels of stocks, 2020/21 imports of lemons and orange juice are projected to plummet. Grapefruit demand continues to steadily slip.
In 2019/20, Japan increased imports of fresh tangerines by 11.3% to 21,031 tons, due to lower domestic production. This increase was primarily reflected in the summer tangerine imports from Australia, the second largest tangerine exporter to Japan. The US is the top exporter of fresh tangerines to Japan and supplies approximately 60% of Japan’s tangerine imports. A recovery of domestic summer fruit production is forecast in 2020/21, which should prompt a contraction in import volumes. Japan’s 2020/21 tangerine imports are expected to fall 9.6% to 19,000 tons, of which 12,000 tons will be from the US.