Egypt Vies for Top Place Among Orange Exporters

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A devalued Egyptian pound is helping to drive exports of oranges from the country, putting Egypt in contention with Spain in 2018/19 as the biggest exporter of the citrus fruit, the USDA projects. Egypt’s orange exports are expected to grow 7 percent to 1.650 million tonnes from the previous year, while production is forecast to rise 9.6 percent to 3.420 million tonnes, likely leaving Egypt in sixth place among the world’s orange producers. The North African country has added 5.1 percent to its area planted in oranges, to total 162,000 hectares, partly due to changing weather patterns that have resulted in longer summers, which mean increased growing periods and more time for marginal areas to yield fruit.

About half of Egypt’s oranges are exported, a percentage that has steadily increased in recent years. Russia and Saudi Arabia take up about 33 percent of Egypt’s exports. Other destinations include the Netherlands, UAE, India, UK, Bangladesh, and Ukraine. In 2018, Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture concluded market access for Egyptian oranges in New Zealand, while talks are ongoing for Japan and the Philippines. Egypt faces competition for exports mainly from Spain, South Africa, Morocco, and Turkey. A constraint facing Egyptian orange producers and exporters is growing concerns among import countries about the spread of the Mediterranean fruit fly and the peach fruit fly. Most countries require Egypt to utilize cold treatment to mitigate the entry of fruit flies in exported commodities. Gro web app users access data from multiple sources on global citrus markets, including production and trade flows.

Oranges are one of the most affordable fruits in Egypt, and domestic consumption has soared. Still, exports (blue line in chart above) account for an ever-increasing share of Egypt’s fast-growing orange-producing industry (green bars).

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