China’s citrus imports are expected to grow thanks to consumer demand and a 10% drop in its 2016/17 orange production.
According to a new USDA Gain report, the country is likely to import 300,000 tons of oranges in the 2016/17 marketing year, up over 35% on the previous year. Its orange imports in 2015/16 reached 220,000 tons, which was itself an increase of 50% on the previous year.
The report says that a key factor in this growth is increasingly strong demand for high quality imported oranges, including counter-seasonal oranges from Southern Hemisphere countries.
South Africa, with a 37% market share, continued to be the top supplier to China in 2015/16, with the US in second place with 28%.
China’s orange exports are forecast at 50,000 tons in 2016/17, down over 30% on the previous year, as a result of the expected decrease in supply. Southeast Asia remains its main export market for oranges.