Why Argentine Orange and Tangerine Production Is Down

Josh McGillCrop Forecast, International

Argentine fresh orange and tangerine production will decline in 2022–23 compared to the prior season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) forecast recently. Fresh orange production is forecast at 623,000 metric tons (MT), down from 830,000 MT the prior season. Fresh tangerine production is projected to decrease to 285,000 MT, down from 380,000 MT the prior season. 


The decline in production is due to a combination of factors, including adverse weather conditions and rising costs. The main sweet citrus-growing region of northeastern Argentina experienced a prolonged drought in the spring of 2021, which damaged many orange and tangerine trees. The increase in the cost of production has made it more difficult for producers to maintain their orange and tangerine orchards.

Sweet citrus is grown in both the northwestern (oranges) and northeastern (oranges and tangerines) regions of Argentina.

USDA estimates for orange and tangerine planted area remain unchanged at 37,000 hectares and 26,900 hectares, respectively. There has been no significant investment in area expansion in recent years.

Smaller producers are struggling to compete. When they exit the business, they tend to sell their orchards to larger farmers. There is also a new trend for producers to switch to more profitable crops and other activities, such as livestock production.

USDA FAS forecasts the amount of fresh oranges that will be processed in 2022–23 at 200,000 MT. Its estimate of fresh tangerines for processing is 60,000 MT.

USDA FAS estimates fresh orange exports from Argentina will decrease to 55,000 MT in 2022–23, down from 63,000 MT the prior season. Tangerine exports from Argentina are expected to decline to 30,000 MT in 2022–23, down from 33,000 MT the prior season.

Argentine lemon production is also forecast to decline.

See the full USDA FAS report on Argentine citrus.

Source: USDA FAS

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