Diversification into Asia buoys citrus industry

Diversification has paid handsome dividends for the citrus industry which has recorded a rise in exports despite a decline in volumes to five of its largest traditional markets over the past 12 years.

In 2005, Western Europe accounted for 38% of total citrus exports, a figure that fell to 33% in 2017.

The UK held a 10% share of total exports in 2017, declining from 14% in 2005, and the combined volume to the European Union dropped from 52% to 43%.

Eastern Europe (mostly Russia) initially increased from 7% to 15% between 2005 and 2010, before falling to 9% last year, along with the Middle East which experienced a growth of 4% from 2005 (17%) to 2010 (21%) before dropping to 18% in 2017.

However, Citrus Growers’ Association CEO, Justin Chadwick, told FTW Online that this was no reason to worry because annual citrus export volumes had significantly increased.

“10% of one million is still a lot more than, say, 15% of 10 000,” he explained. “What these figures show is that following a lot of hard work, we have been successful in diversifying our export markets, specifically into Asia.”

He said that the largest growth in market share had been recorded in Asia. After an initial decrease from 17% to 14% between 2005 and 2010, volumes increased to 24% in 2017.

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