Australian Orange Production to Increase

Tacy CalliesCrop Forecast, International


Australian fresh orange production is forecast at 530,000 metric tons (MT) in 2023–24 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS). This is a 5% increase over 2022–23 production of 505,000 MT.

Producers expect to benefit from easing input costs and labor constraints in 2023–24. In particular, the costs of fertilizer and crop protection chemicals have reduced considerably over recent months to near typical past levels, which are anticipated to continue well into the forecast year. Labor shortages, caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, improved considerably in 2022–23 and are expected to improve further.   

The major orange production areas in Australia are in the southern temperate climate regions. These regions are known as Riverina in southern New South Wales; Murray Valley, located along the Murray River in northwest Victoria; and Mildura and Swan Hill Riverland, located along the Murray River in the northwest of South Australia.

These three regions have a total orange production area of 16,131 hectares, representing 90% of the national area. The Riverina area is by far the largest producer of oranges.

USDA FAS forecasts fresh orange exports of 180,000 MT in 2023–24, a 20,000 MT increase over the 2022–23 estimate of 160,000 MT. This is a return toward recent past levels ranging from 181,000 MT to 198,000 MT achieved between 2016–17 and 2019–20. If the 180,000 MT export level is achieved, it would be the fifth highest fresh orange export total on record.

The major export destinations for Australian oranges over recent years have been Japan, China and Hong Kong. However, South Korea became a significant destination in 2022–23. These four nations typically account for around 60% of overall exports. Australia exports fresh oranges to more than 35 nations, with most of the largest export destinations in Asia.

Fresh orange imports are forecast to remain stable at 10,000 MT in 2023–24. Almost all imports of navel oranges are from the United States, and the balance of 5% to 10% are almost entirely from Egypt.

See the full USDA FAS report on Australian citrus for 2023–24 here.

Source: USDA FAS