EGYPT – Orange production in Egypt is projected to increase by 6.2% to 3.4 million metric tonnes (MMT) in the market year (MY) 2020/21 from the previous season’s 3.2 MMT.
The 200,000 MT rise, according USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) report is attributed to the increase in harvested area and favourable weather conditions which will led to rise in production.
In 2020/21, the report forecasts the total planted area in oranges to still remain the same as that of 2019/20 at 168,000 hectares (ha).
However, the total harvested area will be 145,000 ha, a 3.57 percent increase over last year.
The increase in area harvested is attributed to a 7 percent increase in the number of bearing trees from the previous year.
During the past couple of years, there has been an ongoing effort by the government, private associations and growers to replace old orchards with newer trees, improve on-farm irrigation techniques, adopting up-to date nutrient management programs, and reducing post-harvest losses.
Consumption to rise due to high demand of vitamin C during the pandemic
FAS forecasts that fresh oranges domestic consumption will increase by 4 percent to reach 1.55 MMT from previous season’s 1.49MMT.
Increase in local consumption is attributed to higher production, and increased utilization of fresh oranges by consumers amid the COVID-19 pandemic due to its high content of vitamin C.
Utilization of oranges by the processing sector during the period under review is forecasted to grow by 4.4 percent also as a result of the pandemic.
Egypt to remain world’s leading orange exporter
In terms of trade, orange exports are expected to reach 1.5 million metric tons (MMT) up from 1.37 MMT in MY 2019/20.
In 2019/20 exports to 104 countries reached 1.37 MMT, compared to 1.7 MMT in MY 2018/19 as a result of the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Saudi Arabia, Russia, the Netherlands, China, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Oman, and Malaysia are set to remain as the country’s top ten export destinations.
Successful joint efforts by the Egyptian government and the private sector opened new markets such as New Zealand, Brazil, and Japan which is set to increase exports.
These joint efforts have also contributed to the application of a modernized tracking systems for oranges exports during the stages of cultivation, production, packaging and export.
The success of Egypt’s export policy in opening new markets and establishing a traceability system have contributed to Egypt being the top orange exporter in the world during the past 5 years with a total volume of 7.76 MMT.
All of these developments support a positive outlook for Egyptian orange exports as well as encouraging agribusinesses to invest in establishing new facilities or expand capacity.
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