Israel’s citrus production continues to expand, increasing 3.7% in 2020/21 to 18,260 ha, according to FAS/Tel Aviv data. Israel’s citrus exports in 2020/21 are forecast to fall 1% to 157,000 tons (not including niche varieties) due to harsh climatic conditions early this season that led to lower yields. Despite high international demand for citrus, growers may not be able to meet this. Total citrus exports in 2019/20 were also low at 159,000 tons, due to the lack of shipping options during the pandemic.
Israel is seeking new export markets for grapefruit in Asia, where there is less competition and favourable prices. These markets give a higher dollar value for the product compared to closer markets such as Europe where Israeli produce faces stiff competition from other exporting countries such as Morocco and Spain. Two varieties account for 79% of Israel’s citrus exports: red grapefruit (38,000 tons) and the Or mandarin variety (87,000 tons).