Peru citrus season starts late, first peak coming in April

From Fresh Plaza | 6 March 2023

Overview of citrus from Peru in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on March 6, 2023. 

Peru’s citrus season started late as early varieties were a bit slow out of the blocks, while a better season than last year is hoped for. The Peru Citrus Producers Association (ProCitrus) is hoping for a 4.24% increase to 270 000 tons in 2023 compared to last seasons 259 000 tons.

According to Sergio del Castillo, general manager of ProCitrus, despite the slower beginning: “The start of the citrus export season in Peru has been developing normally. Regarding volumes, it is expected that this year they will remain similar to last year with a slight decrease in early and mid-season varieties such as satsumas, mineolas and novas. We estimate our total citrus exports, oranges, tangerines, limes, lemons and grapefruit, in 2023 at 270 000 tons.”

all commodities volumes 11 1

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

“The early varieties are a little bit late and the first peak of the season is expected to come at the end of April and May. The presence of pests such as rust mite is as usual. Control of the cladospirium fungus is being carried out in the field to lower its inoculum and presence in the fruit. Regarding the late varieties, a strong physiological drop in the first flower was observed, so the campaign will be marked by the volumes of the second and third flower, extending the export period until August,” states Del Castillo.

Last year’s 2022 season was marked by lower returns due to very high shipping costs, as well as the Russian war in Ukraine right at the start of Peru’s citrus season. This altered the normal supply of the volumes that were sent to the European market, and led to a decrease in generalized consumption. Conditions in the foreign market were so complicated that the volumes of citrus fruits that historically record fewer returns, including tangelos and oranges, plummeted in 2022. Tangelo and orange shipments fell by 35% and 57%, respectively. Meanwhile, Eureka lemon exports have increased because it is a novelty and a new line of business.

These developments as well as much lower returns to producers caused many of them to switch to other crops. According to a report by ProCitrus growers are planning to reduce their crop extensions, mainly of mandarins and oranges, by 8% on average.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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