Most Israeli Citrus Crops to Increase

Josh McGillCrop Forecast, International

Production increases are forecast for Israeli mandarins/tangerines, grapefruit and lemons in 2022–23 compared to the prior year, while orange production is projected to decline sharply. The forecast is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS).

Photo by Vanessa Loring on Pexels.com

Total mandarin and tangerine production in 2022–23 is forecast at 170,000 metric tons (MT), up from 159,000 MT the prior season. Israel grows more than 15 varieties of mandarins and tangerines, but growers focus mainly on the Or/Ori variety. Mandarins and tangerines represent 6,700 hectares, which is 42% of Israel’s total area planted in citrus.

Grapefruit production is forecast to climb to 190,000 MT in 2022–23, up from 175,000 MT the prior season. In Israel, 4,000 hectares are planted in grapefruit. Farmers previously were decreasing their plantings of grapefruit due to low demand, but in the last few years there have been growing markets for the product in Asia, especially for red grapefruit.   

Israeli lemon production in 2022–23 is forecast at 70,000 MT, 7,000 MT higher than the previous season. The planted area for lemons is 2,000 hectares. 

Orange production in Israel is forecast at 60,000 MT, down 39% from 99,000 MT the prior season. At a planted area of 3,500 hectares, oranges account for 22% of the country’s total citrus area.

The Israeli citrus-processing industry is highly consolidated. Two large firms control the country’s local production. Farmers see the domestic processing industry as their last resort as prices paid by domestic processors are much lower than prices received from exports or from the fresh market.

USDA FAS forecasts that Israel’s exports of citrus in 2022–23 will reach 175,000 MT, up 23% from the prior season. Two varieties made up 81% of citrus exports from Israel in 2021–22 ­— the Or mandarin variety and red grapefruit.

See the full USDA FAS report on Israeli citrus here.

Source: USDA FAS

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