California Leads U.S. Grapefruit Production

Tacy Callies Grapefruit, Production

For the third season in a row, California led the nation in grapefruit production again in 2022–23. Over the past decade, the title of top grapefruit-producing state has alternated between Florida, California and Texas. But the Florida citrus industry continues to decline, and Texas grapefruit producers experienced a major setback in February 2021 with Winter Storm Uri.

California produced 160,000 tons (4 million boxes) in the 2022–23 season. Texas produced 90,000 tons, and Florida produced 77,000 tons. Both California and Florida experienced decreased production over the prior year, while Texas experienced an increase of 32%. That suggests the Texas industry is recovering from damages inflicted by the storm in 2021.

Grapefruit production in Florida has generally trended downward over the last decade, due to attrition of the state’s commercial acreage and falling yields. Grapefruit production took a big hit from Hurricane Ian in the fall of 2022. The hurricane passed near the Indian River growing region, where most of Florida’s grapefruit production is concentrated.

Although California led the country in grapefruit production in 2022–23, output levels were still 4,000 tons (2%) below the prior season. This decrease in California’s production is due both to lower per acre yields and a decline in the state’s grapefruit acreage.

Grapefruit production for the U.S. fresh market was 208,000 tons in 2022–23, the second lowest level observed in at least 50 years. Nonetheless, the 2022–23 crop was up by 5% over the prior season. 

Despite increased domestic availability in 2022–23, the average price received by growers for fresh grapefruit between November and March increased to $30.39 per box, up $1.87 from the prior year.

The 2022–23 season is expected to set another record low for U.S. grapefruit juice production at 13 million single strength equivalent gallons. An estimated 36% of U.S.-grown grapefruit went to processing in 2022–23, down from the prior year’s share. This decline in grapefruit juice production can be attributed to decreases in Florida’s production.

U.S. import levels of grapefruit juice in 2022–23 were more than double what they were the prior season at 9.9 million gallons. The primary suppliers of grapefruit juice to the United States were Mexico, South Africa and Spain.

Grapefruit juice exports in 2022–23 were about level with the prior year at 5.1 million gallons. The three top destination markets for U.S. grapefruit juice for the 2022–23 season were Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom.

See more in-depth information about the 2022–23 citrus crop in the Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service