EGYPT – Egypt has dethroned South Africa as the main exporter of oranges to the European Union from non-EU countries, according to the EU’s latest Reinforced Monitoring Report of Citrus Imports.

According to the report, Egypt exported 458,408 tons of fruit to the EU, doubling the shipments of the previous year. This record volume represents more than 45% of the total imports of the zone and surpasses South Africa’s 431,565 tons.

This can be attributed to the strong demand for oranges in the European market and poor yields experienced in Europe due to unfavorable weather conditions.

In Spain, for example, Europe’s largest supplier, orange production fell by almost 21% to 2.96 million tons, resulting in a 16% contraction in export volumes to the EU.

The total volume of citrus imported by the EU between January and April 2023 was 566,897 metric tons, 21.2% more than last year.

During the whole season, 1,222,440 metric tons of citrus were imported citing a 3% increase compared to the previous season. Oranges stood out as the most imported citrus fruit in the EU, accounting for 51.3% of total imports.

Egypt’s outstanding performance can also be attributed to the country’s favorable business environment compared to the South African industry, which has been facing a new EU regulation on False Cold Moth (FCM) since July 2022.

According to the South African Association of Citrus Growers (CGA), this measure would have prevented the sale of 80,000 tons of oranges to the EU.

Mordor Intelligence forecast report projects the size of the Egypt Fruits and Vegetables Market to increase from USD 14.14 billion in 2023 to USD 23.40 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.60% during the forecast period.

Additionally, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), reports that the production of fruits and vegetables in Egypt accounted for 14.7 million metric tons and 16.1 million metric tons in 2020, respectively, with fruits and oranges recording the highest production of 3.2 million metric tons.

The steady production and rising exports of fruits and vegetables are driving market growth in Egypt. The fruit and vegetable market in the country is projected to grow substantially due to increased self-reliance on production, urbanization, and higher disposable incomes.

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