U.S. Citrus Production to Decline Over a Decade

Josh McGillEconomics, Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects American citrus production will decline from 11.2 billion pounds in 2022 to 9.8 billion pounds in 2032. The 10-year outlook for citrus is part of the lengthy USDA Agricultural Projections to 2032 report. The report was issued in February by the chief economist’s office at the USDA.

citrus production
Photo by Andre Taissin

According to the report, total citrus production levels are projected to decline through the decade largely due to further attrition of bearing acreage in Florida’s orange and grapefruit industries. Oranges, by far Florida’s largest crop, are primarily used in orange juice. 

Production in California is projected to remain steady. California is the top-producing state of fresh market oranges, lemons and tangerines.

Total value of citrus production in the United States is projected to remain steady because of higher prices due to smaller domestic supply.

The projections are based on several assumptions, including a macroeconomic scenario, existing U.S. policy and current international agreements. USDA emphasizes the scenario in the report “is not a USDA forecast about the future. Instead, it is a conditional long-run scenario of how markets would evolve under existing conditions, existing laws, normal weather patterns and underlying trends.”

The USDA projections reflect worsening economic conditions in 2022 after a tentative global recovery in 2021 from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report notes that economic growth continues to contract as a result of high levels of inflation worldwide, Russia’s war against Ukraine and other factors.

Looking at all commodities, the report projects that U.S. agricultural exports will decrease 3.2% in 2023 to $190 billion, down from a record $196.4 billion in 2022. From 2022 to 2032, agricultural exports are projected to decline at an average annual rate of 0.7%.

Conversely, U.S. agricultural imports are expected to reach a record $199.1 billion in 2023. From 2022 to 2032, imports are projected to increase at an average annual rate of 0.3%. 

Source: USDA

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