An intensive review of the damage to Chilean summer citrus crops caused by recent frost shows that estimated losses range from little or no damage to this year’s clementines, to a maximum 10 percent loss of projected exports of Chilean navel oranges and lemons, and a 10 percent loss of the season’s mandarin exports for 2011.
This year’s total Chilean fresh citrus exports to the U.S. had previously shown a projected 10 percent increase in volume above 2010, according to Juan Enrique Ortuzar, president of the Chilean Citrus Committee. Despite news of the freeze, seedless navels are still expected to lead the Chilean varieties in volume during their season from June through October.
Chile is the No. 1 fresh fruit exporter from the Southern Hemisphere, accounting for more than 59 percent of exports of grapes, apples, kiwi, avocados, nectarines, peaches and pears. The Chilean fresh fruit industry exports more than 75 different varieties to more than 100 different countries.