Oranges and OJ in China: Production and Trade

Josh McGillChina, Crop Forecast, Orange Juice

Orange production in China is expected to increase in 202223 over the prior year, while its orange juice (OJ) production is forecast to decline. The forecast was issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDAFAS).

Photo by Lucas George Wendt

China’s orange production in 2022–23 is forecast to reach 7.6 million metric tons (MMT), up from 7.55 MMT the prior year. The forecast is based on increased production in new planting areas (Hubei, Yunnan and Hunan), offsetting navel orange production decreases in Jiangxi province.

Orange imports in China have declined significantly since 2019 due to COVID restrictions. Between 2018–19 and 2021–22, orange imports dropped by nearly 50%. This dramatic drop was driven by multiple challenges from global transportation disruptions, China’s COVID measures, additional tariffs, and increasing costs for disinfection and testing.

Orange imports are expected to reach 230,000 metric tons (MT) in 2022–23, up from 223,000 MT in 2021–22, as China begins removing some of the onerous transportation requirements related to COVID. Major orange exporters to China include South Africa, Egypt, Australia, United States and Spain. South Africa remained the leading orange supplier.

China’s 2022–23 orange exports are expected to reach 70,000 MT, up 6,000 MT from the previous year, as the flow of goods improves with the removal of COVID measures.

USDA FAS forecasts 2022–23 frozen orange juice production at 18,450 MT, a decline from 19,250 MT in 2021–22. The decline assumes a smaller volume of oranges will be delivered to processors as a result of increasing fresh orange demand. China largely relies on imports of frozen orange juice due to limited domestic production capacity and high operational costs.

Frozen orange juice imports for 2022–23 are forecast at 122,000 MT, up significantly due to lower domestic production amid increased demand. Imports were projected at 111,821 MT the prior year. Major suppliers include Brazil, Costa Rica, Israel and Spain. Brazil sent more than 70% of China’s total frozen orange juice imports.

Exports of Chinese frozen orange juice in 2022–23 are forecast at 1,700 MT, up slightly from the 2021–22 export volume of 1,631 MT. Demand in other Asian countries will continue to grow. Top export destinations will include Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Thailand.

See the full USDA FAS report on Chinese citrus here.

Source: USDA FAS

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