The USDA calculated that there will be 7.3 percent less volume of oranges on the market this season. The decrease is visible in all production areas with the exception of South Africa, according to the American organisation. The South Africans started their season a few months ago on an almost empty world market. And South Africa is still the only big player. Europe had little stock due to the Spanish season finishing earlier. The season also ended earlier in the United States. A South Africa export advises: "Buy the Navels on time, because South Africa has limited volumes."
There are hardly any alternatives. Brazil and Uruguay have a limited volume available and Argentina is also hardly exporting any oranges to Europe.
In Australia the export is profiting from the lower exchange rate of the Australian dollar against the American dollar. This meant the export could be ramped up and the pressure on the domestic market reduced. Besides the US, Australia exports to countries in the region, for instance China. That country imports citrus unless there is domestic production. Between September and June 60 to 70% of the market is filled with Chinese oranges.
The area in South Africa is growing, but there are also clearances and new varieties planted within the existing area. Due to water scarcity the possibilities are limited. Old orange trees are replaced by new Navel varieties or mandarins.
Despite the threat of Citurs Black Spot, South Africa continues to ship volumes to Europe comparable to previous years. CBS keeps the market busy, partially because Europe has set a limit of five CBS finds in citrus max. However, it is not known what the consequences of this limit being broken would be. A boycott seems unlikely. This year the South Africans did not ship citrus to Spain. The Southern European countries finds a striking amount more CBS in parties than other European countries. Moreover, Argentina has passed the limited of five CBS discoveries and has not been affected. This is why South African growers are looking more at other markets. A number of growers have stopped exporting to Europe.