Chile’s citrus sector recorded a massive 32% increase in exports in 2018, reaching 358,600 tons. President of the Chilean Citrus Committee, Juan Enrique Ortúzar, said, “It was a season of great contrasts, with a market rarely seen for lemons, but complicated for oranges and for the first time, a market with sufficient supply of mandarins.” Around 87% of Chile’s citrus exports head for the US, with 7% sent to the Far East and 3% to Europe. Mandarins (30%) represent the largest export category, followed by oranges (28%), lemons (25%) and clementines (17%).
The winter frosts that struck this year did not affect clementines as the harvest was already completed by that point. Clementine exports soared 55% to 63,200 tons. Lemons also avoided frost damage, with exports climbing 14% to 88,100 tons. Despite some frost damage to orange crops, exports still rose by an impressive 32% to 99,900 tons. Mandarins were the most affected category. Even then, exports have so far shot up by 40% to 107,400 tons.