Latest Citrus Forecast Shows a Nominal Decline from Early Expectations

Brian GermanCitrus, Fruits & Vegetables, Industry

The recent citrus forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) highlights a small decline in overall production. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is expecting 2.52 million tons for the 2022-2023 season. The updated projection shows a decline of one percent from an earlier forecast. Estimates put overall citrus production down 26 percent from the 2021-2022 final utilization. Grapefruit production is projected to be down 11 percent from last season and lemons are expected to see a 19 percent decline from the 2021-2022 season. Tangerines and mandarins are forecasted to improve by 23 percent from last year’s final utilization.

Citrus Forecast

The all-orange forecast for California is 44 million boxes, a small decrease from the June forecast of 45.1 million. Production for the 2021-2022 season was 39.1 million boxes and 49 million for the 2020-2021 season. A major driver for the forecasted decrease is that Valencia production is expected to drop down to seven million boxes. The lemon forecast is now also down three million boxes from June, estimated at 20 million boxes. Tangerines and tangelos increased by one million boxes to a total forecast of 22 million boxes. California grapefruit production expectations remained the same as the June forecast at 4.2 million boxes, a two percent increase from the previous season.

The latest citrus forecast highlighted a sharp decline in Florida production compared to last year. While the all-orange forecast improved by one percent from the previous projection, it remains 62 percent lower than last season’s final utilization. Production has been steadily declining in Florida over the past few seasons. USDA-NASS figures show 41.2 million boxes in 2021-2022 and nearly 52 million boxes in the 2020-2021 season. The forecasted production for 2022-2023 is a little more than 15.8 million boxes.

The first forecast of the 2023-2024 season is scheduled to be released on October 12.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West