Chilean Citrus Copes With Competition and Weather

Tacy CalliesInternational, Weather

Photo by Engin Akyurt

The Chilean Citrus Committee, which recently reported a strong export season, also discussed the challenges of competition and inclement weather that its citrus exporters face.     

“It (2023) was a season that ended with many challenges, such as growing competition,” said Juan Enrique Ortuzar, president of the committee. “The competition did not disappear, but we had favorable circumstances that allowed everything to end well. However, there is strong competition in the market, which means that we cannot continue growing indefinitely. The Argentine lemon is hitting hard, it has grown a lot. The orange volume from South Africa is maintained, but the volume from Chile is also sufficient for the market. Peru with mandarins is always an important competitor.”

Ortuzar said drought in Chile continues to be a strong problem. However, he noted there was enough water to irrigate clementines, lemons and mandarins.

“The season comes with less water since it rained very little … It will be a difficult season in terms of drought,” he said.

Ortuzar also reported that Chilean citrus faced a very cold spring with El Niño. “We still do not know how it will impact citrus,” he said. “It is still too early to know what impact it will have on next season’s harvest date.”

Ortuzar also said there will be less mandarin fruit “since many of the blooms are lower. However, it is still early to deliver a forecast.”

The Chilean Citrus Committee is an entity that belongs to the Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association. Its members are the main exporters of citrus fruit in the country, representing 75% of the Chilean citrus fruit exporters.

Source: Chilean Fresh Fruit Exporters Association