Argentina Sweet Citrus Sees Increase

Ernie NeffInternational


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported that sweet citrus production in Argentina is forecast to increase in 2020-21. Sweet citrus refers to fresh oranges and tangerines. Orange production is expected to climb 7.5 percent from the prior season to 700,000 metric tons; tangerine production is forecast to jump 16 percent to 360,000 metric tons. Sweet citrus is grown in both the northwest and northeast of Argentina.

Fresh oranges for processing are forecast at 230,00 metric tons, up 19.5 percent from the prior year. Fresh tangerines for processing are forecast at 105,000 metric tons, up 36.5 percent.

Projected planted area in 2020-21 remains unchanged for oranges, at 39,000 hectares, and tangerines, at 28,000 hectares. There has been no significant investment in area expansion in recent years, and industry consolidation is continuing. Smaller producers are struggling to compete; when they exit the business they tend to sell their orchards to larger farmers.

Domestic consumption of fresh oranges is expected to increase slightly to 390,000 metric tons. Fresh tangerine consumption is projected to increase 10 percent to 220,000 metric tons. The expected consumption increases are due to greater available supply and a projected sustained citrus fruit demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exports are forecast to increase slightly to 80,000 metric tons for oranges and 35,000 metric tons for tangerines, due to larger production. Despite this projected increase, exports remain significantly lower than historical export levels of around 150,000 metric tons of oranges and 100,000 metric tons of tangerines. FAS cites challenging domestic economic conditions and strong competition from other exporting countries as reasons why exports are below historical levels.

In 2020, the European Union accounted for 31 percent of total orange exports from Argentina, followed by Paraguay at 29 percent, Russia at 13 percent and Canada at 3 percent. For tangerines, the Philippines took 20 percent of Argentine exports; Russia 18 percent; Paraguay 17 percent; Canada 9 percent and Saudi Arabia 2 percent.  

 See the full FAS report on Argentina citrus here.

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

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