Mixed Forecast for Israel Citrus Varieties

Ernie Neff Forecast, International


Production of oranges, grapefruit and lemons in Israel is forecast to climb in 2021-22, but mandarin/tangerine production is expected to decline, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

FAS expects orange production to remain low and below average at 58,000 metric tons in 2021-22, up slightly from 57,000 metric tons in 2020-21.

The bulk of Israeli orange production will find its way to the local market and to the domestic processing industry – the same as in past years – as international prices remain less attractive.

Total mandarin and tangerine production in 2021-22 is forecast at 160,000 metric tons, down from 169,000 metric tons the prior year.

Israel grows more than 15 varieties of mandarins and tangerines. However, Israeli growers focus mainly on the Or variety. Or maintains high demand and strong prices in both local and export markets. Or is expected to make up 75% of total tangerine production in 2021-22. This variety accounts for 95% of total mandarin/tangerine exports and 53% of total Israeli citrus exports.

Grapefruit production is expected to remain low in 2021-22 at 130,000 metric tons due to harsh weather conditions during the growing season. However, that is still higher than the 121,000 metric tons produced the prior year.

Increased demand for grapefruit in international markets resulted in 50 hectares of new plots planted in 2020-21. Previously, farmers were decreasing their plantings of grapefruit due to low demand. In the last few years, there have been growing markets for the product in Asia, especially for red grapefruit.

In 2021-22, lemon production is expected to be 70,000 metric tons, which is 17,000 metric tons more than was produced in 2020-21. Lemons are somewhat more resistant to harsh weather conditions than other citrus fruit.

Israel’s planted area for citrus in 2021-22 is forecast to be 16,200 hectares; the productive area is estimated at 15,350 hectares.

See the full FAS report on Israel’s citrus industry.

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

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