China’s 2022/23 orange imports are expected to reach 230,000 tons, up from 223,000 tons in 2021/22, as the country begins removing some of its numerous transportation requirements related to COVID, according to a USDA report. Major orange exporters to China include South Africa, Egypt, Australia, United States and Spain. South Africa managed to remain the leading orange supplier, increasing market share in 2021/2022 by nearly 20%.
China’s citrus production in 2022/23 is expected to remain steady, after several years of growth, as the market deals with continuing COVID challenges, unfavourable weather and phytosanitary issues. Orange production is expected to increase slightly, despite key production areas being hit by the summer drought. Tangerine and mandarin production is forecast down in 2022/23, as farmers deal with unfavourable weather and citrus greening disease. Grapefruit production is also forecasted down 50,000 tons, according to USDA data. Despite economic woes, citrus demand remains strong, as health-conscious consumers seek out products rich in vitamin C.