Egypt Became the Largest Exporter of Oranges
Egypt overtook Spain for the second year in a row in orange exports. Out of the 1.8 million tons of oranges the country produces, 1.68 million tons are exported. It is worth 1 billion dollars, and the number has been growing at a pace of 17-20% annually.
Orange is the most produced citrus since its good export value, and the strong supply chains support small farmers. Oranges are cultivated in almost all of Egypt’s governorates, and the harvest season lasts four to five months. Navel oranges dominate all of the country’s production, accounting for 60%.
Brazil, India, China, Mexico, and the US are the top producers of the product. Still, most of the US, China, and Brazil’s production goes into domestic consumption. In the case of Mexico, it is challenging to find export destinations. Consequently, Egypt’s oranges have flooded markets around the world. Egypt ranks sixth in the world in citrus production, with quantities amounting to 3.42 million tons in the season of 2018-2019.
Besides that, Egypt has exported 70 thousand tons of lemons, 35 thousand tons of mandarin, and 15 thousand tons of grapefruit.
Egypt has committed to the latest international standards
With such a positive prospect for Egypt’s oranges, it is no wonder the country’s farmers are striving to dedicate more planted area and the investment to other crops. Egypt commits to apply international standards for export quality, from agriculture to packaging and export. The Egyptian government has worked to grow the local production by expanding farmable lands. Egypt’s farmland has increased by more than 15%. Available lands and cheaper labor have made Egypt a significant producer and exporter of orange and other agricultural products, such as potatoes, onions, garlic, and grapes. Also, the Egyptian pound is depreciating. All these factors contributed to a reduction in the price of the Egyptian orange globally.
In 2017, Egypt faced issues with Saudi Arabia, Kenya, and Sudan. These countries banned Egypt’s fruit exports due to a high degree of pesticides used. Chemical compounds violated international health and safety norms. Since then, the country has made many changes, trying to conform to global models.
Now, exports of Egyptian oranges have reached markets around the world. Egyptian citrus found its way to the store shelves of Uruguay, Myanmar, and Japan. Egypt has exported more oranges to Russia than all other EU countries combined. Eastern European countries and Russia are showing more and more interest in Egyptian and Turkish products while Spain is losing access to these markets. This finding reflects the warming of the trade relationship between Cairo and Moscow in the last year.
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