© Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution
Mexican orange producers anticipate their lowest crop since the early 1990s. The 2019/20 (Nov-Oct) crop is expected to reach 2.53 million tons, 45% lower than previous forecasts due to the ongoing drought and high temperatures that have severely reduced yield, sizes and quality. Orange production has been harder hit than other citrus fruits because many orange trees are older and require more energy to produce fruit. Additionally, many small producers lack irrigation technology and have poor crop management practices. Mexico is also facing issues with citrus greening, or Huanglongbing (HLB), caused by bacteria introduced by psyllids, which makes citrus trees produce misshapen, partially green fruit.
In the 2019/20 campaign, Mexico’s orange exports are expected to reach 60,000 tons, according to USDA data. Most is shipped to the US, where demand for vitamin c sources is currently high due to the covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Mexico’s lemon/lime exports in the 2019/20 campaign are expected to reach 755,000 tons.