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Southern hemisphere expects another citrus record export year in 2021

Southern hemisphere citrus growers plan to follow up 2020 record demand with another record export crop in 2021.

While it’s summer in the south now, when winter citrus season starts in a few months, Fhumulani Ratshitanga, CEO of Fruit South Africa, says increased plantings and good rain should bump up volume of Valencia oranges and grapefruit.

She said on a Feb. 3 Produce Marketing Association BB #:153708 webinar, “There’s a danger we could see a drop in prices.”

She said there’s also a possibility that 2021 could see global economic trouble, which would lead to lower disposable income for imported fruit, but “these fruits have many nutritional benefits, and we’re hopeful demand continues.”

From the Chilean perspective, Juan Colombo, CEO of Subsole, said the country has seen massive rain this summer, and while it’s spared growers in the north of Chile, the rest of the country has been under water.

But he remains optimistic, especially with grapes.

Many growers are investing, and Colombo said, “New varieties are the key to remaining competitive in grapes.”

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services