The world’s orange crop is expected to reach an 8-year high of 54.3 million tons in the 2018/19 campaign. The favourable weather conditions have fostered large harvests in the US and Brazil. Consumption is estimated to be up. South Africa and Egypt remain the top two suppliers, accounting for a combined 60% of world exports. Egypt’s production is expected to reach a record 3.4 million tons (+10%) thanks to an expanded production area. Exports are estimated to rise 4% to 1.6 million tons. Good weather has also produced a strong EU crop (+4% to 6.5 million tons).
As a large proportion of the US and Brazilian crops is for processing, global fresh exports are slightly down. The rebound in US production is thanks to the return to more normal conditions in Florida (where 95% of the crop is for processing), after the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma in the previous year. Good weather is also to thank for the rise in Brazil’s production (+26% to 20.2 million tons). In contrast, China’s production is down slightly to 7.2 million tons due to unfavourable weather.
The latest estimates published by Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for the country’s 2018/19 vegetable crop indicate an increase in output of potato. Production of extra-early potato varieties is expected to increase by 5.2%, in line with a corresponding expansion in production area. The early potato crop is forecast to be up 24.8%, despite little variation in growing area. As for tomatoes, production for the first five months of 2019 is up 1.1%. The aubergine and mushroom crops are respectively 3.4% and 1.4% larger. There are smaller harvests expected for onion (-15%) and asparagus (-0.5%).
Very early estimates for Spain’s fruit production indicate a mixed picture. While there is a sharp decline in apricot (-20.4%), there is a rise in peach (+3.7%) and raspberry (0.9%). Strawberry remains unchanged.
Source: Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
The 2018/19 Spanish citrus campaign is estimated to register an increase in crop size for all crops compared with the 2017/19 season, according to data published by Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The most notable growth is expected to be recorded in satsuma, where the harvest is set to soar by 31.3%). The next largest increase is forecast for lemon (21.5%), followed by clementine (+20.5%), orange (+14.3%), and grapefruit (+2.3%).
Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
In MY2018/19, Chile is expected to register a fall of 4.5% in table grape production, to 870,000 tons. This decline is partly due to a drop in yields due to an unusually hot summer and a decrease in planted area, especially in the Copiapó valley in the north. Chile’s table grape planted area in MY2018/19 totalled 47,800 ha – a shrinkage of 8% from the previous campaign, in the face of increasing competition from Peru in the US market. The majority of Chile’s 16,300 table grape vineyards are small or medium-sized. In fact, 85% are smaller than five hectares and together they cover an area of 35,200 hectares.
The vast majority of Chile’s table grape production is destined for foreign markets (80%). These markets tend to demand high quality and modern grape varieties. Producers that have not renewed their vines have trouble exporting. Exports are forecast to be down 5.5% in 2018/19, with volumes expected to total 690,000 tons. Chile’s table grape exports to the US (its main market) fell by 29.5%, to 328,000 tons, while exports to China increased by 24.1% (according to USDA data up to February 2019). Chilean table grape exports to China are expected continue to rise in parallel with the increased promotional work conducted by Chilean suppliers in the country.
Chile’s apple exports are expected to fall due to the smaller crop that stemmed from adverse weather conditions during the spring and winter. According to USDA data, total fresh apple exports will reach 739,000 tons in MY 2018/19, down 5% from the previous campaign. The country’s total apple planted area totalled 34,427 hectares in 2018/19, a drop of 4.2% from MY2017/18. This fall is due to the low profitability of apple production in the face of increasing international competition from other Southern Hemisphere countries and demand for new apple varieties. Apple orchards are being replaced with more profitable alternatives like cherries and walnuts. Meanwhile, old orchards are still being renewed with modern varieties such as Jazz, Envy, Brookfield, Rosy Glow and Ambrosia. Around 85% of Chile’s apple production comes from small- or medium-sized orchards (i.e. less than 10ha.
The world’s production of lemons and limes in 2018/19 is projected to be up 5% to a new record of 8.2 million tons, according to USDA data. Increased volumes have been recorded in Mexico, Argentina, the EU and Turkey, which should more than offset the drop in production in the US. Consumption and exports are both expected to set new records.
The world’s largest producer, Mexico, expects its lemon and lime output to rise slightly, to a record 2.6 million tons, thanks to an expansion in production area. Similarly, Argentina’s production is projected to be up 7% to 1.6 million tons, due to favourable weather conditions. Production in the EU is up 10% to 1.6 million tons, due to both favourable weather and increased area. Meanwhile, Turkey’s output is set to rocket 15% to a record 948,000 tons thanks to favourable growing conditions. South African output is also forecast to climb, in this case by 4% to a record 480,000 tons, on the back of favourable weather and a larger production area. However, US production is expected to drop 4% to 777,000 tons due to the unfavourable weather in California.
The largest market for lemons and limes is the EU and accounts for over two-thirds of exports.
Russia’s 2018/19 apple production is forecast at 1,506,100 tons, according to USDA. Nevertheless, despite being a major producer, Russia imported 858,600 tons in 2017/18. Imported volumes of apple are predicted to decrease to 815,000 tons in 2018/19. Similarly, Russia’s imports of table grapes and pears are also expected to fall this year, to 270,000 tons and 352,000 tons, respectively, due to the rise in domestic production.
Russia’s apple production area expanded by 1% in 2018/2019 to 212,000 hectares, as orchards restructure to accommodate new more productive varieties. The horticultural sector has been supported by government subsidies of US$194.8 million between 2013 and 2018 to compensate for the lack of imports from the EU and the US.
The world’s 2018/19 grapefruit crop is projected up 4% to a record 7 million tons, thanks to an improvement in the US crop and a bumper Chinese harvest benefitting from favourable weather and an expanded area. The world’s consumption is up 3% while exports are up 8%, thanks to the higher available supplies, according to USDA data.
Taking each country in turn, China’s grapefruit output is expected to be up 2% to a record 4.9 million tons, which will lead to record consumption and export volumes. After a disastrous weather-ravaged 2017/18 campaign, US production is projected to be 29% higher, reaching 606,000 tons. South African production is expected to increase 7% to a record 450,000 tons, while Mexican production is forecast unchanged at 445,000 tons. Turkey expects to record a record 270,000 tons of production. Although consumption is down due to weak consumer demand for the fruit, exports are expected to reach a record 200,000 tons.
Production in the EU is estimated up 4% to 112,000 tons due to a rise in area. Consumption and export volumes are flat, while imports are expected to drop slightly due to the increase in supply.
The world’s orange output for 2018/19 is expected to rise 9% to 51.8 million tons, thanks to favourable weather conditions in Brazil and the US. According to USDA data, fresh orange exports are predicted to be up 4% to 5.1 million tons. Brazil’s crop is projected up 13% to 17.8 million tons, of which 12.8 million tons is for processing (+22%). China’s output is expected to fall slightly to 7.2 million, due to unfavourable weather in Jiangxi province. South Africa and Egypt are the top two suppliers to China, accounting for 60% of the country’s imports. After a weather-struck 2017/18, US production is forecast to bounce back in 2018/19, with a 41% increase to 5.0 million tons. EU orange production is expected to be up 4% to 6.5 million tons due to favourable conditions in Spain and Portugal during flowering and fruit set. Imports are flat, while oranges for processing and fresh consumption are both up. Egypt should set a new record of 3.4 million tons, up 10%, thanks to a larger production area and extended season. Egypt’s exports will account for around 30% of total global trade, with shipments up 60,000 tons to a record 1.6 million. Top destinations are the EU, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine. South Africa’s production is expected to rise 5% to 1.6 million tons due to favourable weather and expanded area. South Africa’s exports account for around 25% of global orange trade and are projected to hit a record 1.3 million tons. The EU is the top export market, followed by China and Russia. Elsewhere, Mexico’s production is projected up 100,000 tons to 4.6 million, while Morocco’s crop is forecast to be up 18% to a record 1.2 million tons.
Italy’s 2018/19 orange crop is expected to be 7.5% lower due to summer rains and the major flooding incidents in Sicily in October and November. In contrast, Italy’s 2018/19 tangerine production is forecast to increase by 14.8%, thanks to favourable weather conditions in Calabria, the main producing region. Meanwhile, Italy’s 2018/19 lemon harvest is predicted to be down by 8% as a result of hailstorms which struck during the spring. Quality levels for all crops is forecast to be excellent.