Orange Acreage Declining in Chile

Josh McGillInternational, Oranges

Land planted in oranges in Chile totaled 6,371 hectares in marketing year 2021–22, down from 7,389 hectares 10 years earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) recently reported. The orange acreage decreased gradually as producers shifted to mandarins and lemons because of their higher profitability, FAS stated.

Orange Acreage
Photo by Thomas Vogel on Unsplash

Orange plantings are located mainly in the Metropolitana and O’Higgins regions, which have 39.3% and 31.3% of the orange acreage area planted, respectively. The area planted in these two regions increased in the past three marketing years, by 8.5% in the Metropolitana region and 13.5% in the O’Higgins region. Conversely, in the regions of Coquimbo and Valparaiso, planted area decreased by 22.6% and 8.9%, respectively.

Orange consumption in Chile consists primarily of fresh domestic consumption. Commercial producers report selling only around 3% of their orange crop for juice production. About half of the commercial production is exported, and half is consumed domestically. 

In 2020–21, Chile exported 104,714 metric tons (MT) of oranges to the world, a 16.4% increase over 2019–20. The top market for Chilean oranges is the United States. In 2020–21, Chile exported 96,319 MT of oranges to the United States, which represented 92% of exports. Chile also exports oranges to various other countries, such as Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Canada.

In Chile, the orange marketing year starts in April with the beginning of the harvest season. The bulk of exports takes place between July and October and peaks in July or August.

Chilean imports of oranges are relatively low compared to exports. In 2020–21, Chile imported 3,107 MT of oranges. The United States was the main supplier of oranges, with 96% market share totaling 2,983 MT. The remaining 4% of Chile’s imported oranges came from Argentina and Peru.

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

oranges in Chile

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