Egypt to Remain Top Orange Exporter

Josh McGill Export, International

Egypt is expected to maintain its position as the world’s leading fresh orange exporter in 2021–22 despite production challenges, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported. The country is expected to export 1.45 million metric tons (MMT), down from 1.67 MMT in 2020–21. The decrease in exports is attributed to lower production amid unfavorable climate conditions.


Russia, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, India, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, China, United Kingdom, Ukraine and Oman are likely to remain Egypt’s top 10 export destinations for fresh oranges.

Total area planted in oranges is forecast at 168,000 hectares, similar to the previous year. Seventy percent of the planted area is in desert reclaimed lands. Plantations in the Nile Delta region account for the other 30% of planted area.

Harvested area is projected at 135,000 hectares, a 6.9% decrease from last year. The decrease in area harvested is attributed to an approximately 7.2% decrease in the number of bearing trees from the previous year due to unfavorable weather conditions during flowering time.

In 2021–22, orange production is forecast to decrease by almost 16% to 3 MMT. The decline in production is attributed to severe weather conditions and fluctuating temperatures during flowering of the trees. Production in the Nile Delta was also impacted by a 25 to 30% increase in fertilizer prices. Typical land ownership in the Nile Delta is an acre or less.

Orange is the major citrus crop in Egypt, representing about 80% of the total cultivated citrus area. The main orange varieties are Washington navel and Valencia, in that order.

Fresh orange domestic consumption in 2021–22 is forecast to decrease by 19.3%, to 1.25 MMT, due to lower production and more growers directing their produce toward exports. Globally, consumers have increased their utilization of fresh oranges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021–22, utilization of oranges by the processing sector is forecast to decrease by approximately 14.3% from the previous year.

See the full FAS report on Egyptian citrus.

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

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