World production of citrus fruit has experienced continuous growth in the last decades of the XX century. Total annual citrus production was estimated at over 105 million tons in the period 2000-2004. Oranges constitute the bulk of citrus fruit production, accounting for more than half of global citrus production in 2004. The rise in citrus production is mainly due to the increase in cultivation areas and the change in consumer preferences towards more health and convenience food consumption and the rising incomes. The following chart shows the evolution of world production for total citrus fruits and the different types of citrus
Geographical distribution of fresh citrus production
Source: UNCTAD from FAO data
Citrus fruits are produced all around the world. According to FAO data, in 2004, 140 countries produced citrus fruits. However, most production is concentrated in certain areas. Most citrus fruits are grown in the Northern Hemisphere, accounting for around 70% of total citrus production. Main citrus fruit producing countries are Brazil, the Mediterranean countries, the United States (where citrus fruits for consumption as fresh fruit are mainly grown in California, Arizona and Texas, while most orange juice is produced in Florida) and China. These countries represent more than two thirds of global citrus fruit production.
For the different types of citrus fruits, major producing countries are the following, ranked as for 2004 FAO data:
|Oranges||Brazil, United States, Mexico, India, Spain, China, Iran, Italy, Egypt, Indonesia.|
|Small citrus||Nigeria, China, Syria, Guinea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, Sierra Leone, Angola, Tunisia.|
|Lemons and limes||Mexico, India, Iran, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, United States, China, Italy, Turkey.|
|Grapefruit||United States, China, South Africa, Mexico, Israel, Cuba, Argentina, India, Turkey, Tunisia.|
In the Mediterranean countries, citrus fruits are produced mainly for fresh fruit consumption. Spain is the leading producing country in the area. USA and Brazil are the leading producing countries of processed citrus fruits. In United States most of the production is consumed domestically. Actually, domestic consumption of orange juice is higher than US production. However, they still play a role as fresh citrus fruits exporter although the share of these exports versus domestic production remains at a relatively low level, between 5% and 7% in the early 2000s. Actually, domestic consumption of orange juice is higher than US production. However, they still play a role as fresh citrus fruits exporters (between 1978/79 and 1999/00 the percentage of exports of fresh oranges over domestic production ranged from 20 to 30 percent). In Asian countries production of citrus fruits is mainly consumed domestically.
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