When it comes to international trades, citrus fruit is the highest valued type of fruit crops. Citrus fruit comes in two main markets, including processed citrus fruit (such as orange juice) and fresh citrus fruit. The largest part of the market includes oranges. Although, there are significant amounts of pomelos, limes, lemons, and grapefruits in the citrus fruit industry.
Although the precise identification of citrus fruit origins cannot be determined, it is believed by researchers that it started far back as 4,000 BC in Southeast Asia. Slowly, spreading into northern regions, such as Africa through trade and migration. Throughout the Roman Empire period, higher ranked society members demand and increase in trades resulted in citrus fruits to expand to southern European regions. Then, throughout the Middle Ages citrus fruit made its way through Europe, until being migrated to the Americas by Spanish explorers. However, citrus fruits did not see worldwide trading until the 20th century, with orange juice trade developing in the 1940s.
Since the 1980s, the consumption and production totals of citrus fruits have increased greatly. The present annual worldwide production of citrus fruit is estimated to me more than 70 million tons. Half of this amount, in oranges. Furthermore, citrus fruit production increases, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Commission, is the result of increasing cultivation regions, packaging and transportation improvements, with increased income and consumer preferences of health foods.
Citrus Producing Countries
According to the UNCTAD, citrus fruit crops are now found worldwide. In 2004, it was reported 140 countries produced citrus fruit, with 70% of citrus production worldwide being within countries such as the United States and Mediterranean, along with other countries in the Northern Hemisphere. Brazil is also a key player in citrus production.
Within the U.S, Florida produces the majority of grapefruit and orange juice, while Arizona, California, and Texas produce the majority of citrus fruits for consumption. Although, there are various states with smaller citrus fruit markets, such as Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and gulf coast stages such as Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and North Carolina. Meanwhile, Virginia, Kentucky, Southern Illinois and Missouri have independent cultivars. Cultivation becomes more seasonal the further north. Nearly 100 million boxes of juice are produced annually in Florida alone, with each box being 90lbs that’s 9 billion lbs. produced annually!
Nearly 1/3 of grown citrus fruits are for processing purposes, while 80% of processing is for the production of orange juice. Whereas, the demands of processed and fresh oranges are constantly increasing, over than of production supply. This is especially true within developed countries.
When it comes to oranges, Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Florida (United States) are the two main production regions, resulting in about 85% of worldwide citrus fruit market. While 90% of Florida production is consumed throughout the United States, 99% of production in Brazil is exported.
Perez, Marvin (24 March 2015). “Orange Juice Enters Bull Market With Biggest Rally Since ’98”. Bloomberg News. Retrieved 25 March 2015.