China is forecast to produce 23.1 million metric tons of tangerines and mandarins in 2020-21, a slight increase from 2019-20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service reported recently.
Looking further ahead, some industry insiders predict the overall growth rate of tangerine and mandarin production will slow in coming years. They expect local governments may become more conservative in offering incentives, and that farmers will plant fewer trees.
Wogan, the most produced variety, is expected to continue to increase with expansion into new growing areas. Red Beauty producers in Shejiang province are expanding the growing area for this premium variety; greenhouses are used to avoid the negative impact of unfavorable weather on the crop.
Varieties less popular with consumers will gradually be replaced by new varieties. The growing area for Shatangju mandarin in Guangxi, for example, is now considered too big. According to traders, Shatangju is not ideal for long-distance transportation.
The average orchard prices for tangerines and mandarins in 2020-21 is expected to decrease slightly from 2019-20 due to the larger supply and competition from substitute citrus varieties.
Domestic tangerine and mandarin consumption in China is forecast to be roughly flat in 2020-21 at 21.8 million metric tons. This prediction assumes that most of the production increase will be consumed domestically.
Tangerine and mandarin imports are forecast to increase slightly in 2020-21, to 50,000 metric tons. The projected increase in imports assumes that consumer demand for imported fruit will partially rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Exports are forecast at 700,000 metric tons, up 6 percent from the previous year. China exported 657,000 metric tons of tangerines and mandarins in 2019-20, down 7 percent from 2018-19, due in large part to decreased exports to Vietnam, Russia, Thailand and others. The export decline in 2019-20 was likely due to COVID-19.
Read the full FAS report on citrus in China here.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service