Chilean citrus exporters differentiating markets

Wed 29/06/2022 by Richard Wilkinson

Chile’s lemon exports climbed 5.6% y-o-y in the 2020/21 campaign, reaching 101,996 tons, according to USDA data. This growth in exports follows the increase in area planted and production. The United States is the top market for Chilean lemons – the 65,682 tons shipped to the US in 2020/21 accounted for 64.4% of the total export volume. Chile also exports lemons to Japan, China and South Korea. Chile imports nominal volumes of lemons and limes, mostly from Colombia and Peru. 

Citrus production in Chile has increased over the past ten years. Lemons and mandarins have become a profitable alternative to table grape and avocado producers in the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Metropolitana and O’Higgins. While production of oranges is significant, planted area has not increased at the same rate as that of lemons and mandarins. Chile is now looking to diversify its exports markets. In May 2020, Chile gained market access to the Chinese market for mandarins, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit. Chilean exports of citrus to that market are still growing since the varieties that the Chinese market demands are different to those sent to the United States.

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