Some Citrus Recovery Expected in Mexico

Ernie Neff Mexico


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service recently issued a report on the citrus industry in Mexico. Some highlights follow.

Orange production in the 2020-21 marketing year is forecast to partially rebound after drought decimated last year’s crop by nearly 40 percent. Residual soil health effects and low producer investments in orchard rehabilitation will prohibit full production recovery. Lack of government support for drought recovery, production inputs and pest mitigation is likely to prevent significant sector growth in the coming years.

The hotel, restaurant and institutional sector in Mexico has been greatly affected by COVID-19, with capacity restrictions still in place, and significant permanent closures have occurred. As a result, a higher percentage of fruit is expected to be sent to the processing industry.

The orange planted area for 2020-21 is forecast at 343,108 hectares, a small increase from the previous marketing year, as producers continue to face soil and orchard effects from last year’s severe drought. Financial effects from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have significantly lowered producers’ cash flows and ability to rehabilitate orange groves.

The orange production forecast for 2020-21 is 4.01 million metric tons, a 58 percent increase from the previous year.

The forecast for 2020-21 frozen concentrated orange juice production is 200,000 metric tons, an increase of 122 percent from the previous marketing year, on a rebound in fresh orange supplies from Veracruz.

Mexico is typically the world’s second-largest producer of limes, and the fruit is the second-largest planted citrus crop in Mexico after oranges. The planted area for limes is forecast at 209,120 hectares, with harvested area forecast at 178,416 hectares. Lime production is more resilient than other citrus due to widespread production in 28 states, more robust irrigation infrastructure, and young and efficient trees.

The production forecast is 2.87 million metric tons, six percent higher than the previous year due to good weather and ample investments in irrigation systems and agronomic best practices.

The grapefruit planted area is forecast at 21,480 hectares on increased demand for juice and fresh production for export. Veracruz accounts for 38 percent of the planted area, and Michoacán accounts for 28 percent. Nearly 80 percent of planted area is rain-fed, while Michoacán relies on irrigation systems. Grapefruit yields for 2020-21 are forecast at 25.9 metric tons per hectare.

Grapefruit production for 2020-21 is forecast at 495,000 metric tons on stable weather conditions. Mexico produces red, pink and white grapefruit.

See the full report here.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service

Share this Post