Mandarin Production Set to Soar in Chile

Josh McGillCrop Forecast, International, Mandarins

In 2022–23, mandarin production in Chile is projected to increase by 26.5% and total 215,000 metric tons (MT), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) reported on June 2.

mandarin production

The increase is driven by a rise in yields and new orchards reaching production. Mandarins include clementines and tangerines. Yields this year recovered as rainfall reached more normal levels and there were no adverse impacts from early frost.

In 2021–22, mandarin planted area totaled 11,184 hectares. USDA FAS projects this area will increase by around 1,000 hectares per year.

Due to high profits, mandarin acreage has increased significantly since 2014–15. Specifically, the W. Murcott variety became a viable alternative to replace other crops such as oranges, tables grapes and avocados. Oranges and table grapes are less profitable than mandarins. Avocados are sensitive to cold temperatures and excessive irrigation.

Coquimbo is the top mandarin-production region in Chile, holding 5,309 hectares, which represents 47.4% of the mandarin acreage. The O’Higgins and the Valparaiso regions, in the central part of the country, hold 21.9% and 20.7% of the area planted, respectively. The area planted in all mandarin-producing regions grew in the past three marketing years.

In 2022–23, mandarin exports are expected to increase by 25% and total 180,000 MT, due to an increase in yields and planted area.

In Chile, the mandarin marketing year starts in April with the beginning of the harvest season. Chile exports mandarins from April until December, peaking in September.

In 2021–22, Chile exported 131,363 MT of mandarins, a 32.2% decrease from 2020–21. Yields in 2021–22 were lower due to frost and low moisture levels.

The top export market for mandarins is the United States. In 2021–22, Chile exported 128,468 MT to the United States, which represented 97.8% of exports.

In 2021–22, Chile imported 529 MT of mandarins, a 10% decrease from 2020–21. The main supplier of mandarins is the United States at 419 MT, which represented a 79.2% share of total Chilean imports. Chile imported the remaining 20.8% from Peru.

See a full USDA FAS report on Chilean citrus.

Source: USDA FAS