Citrus is the second largest agricultural industry. Cultivation is concentrated in the Southern districts of Stann Creek and Toledo. However, expansion in cultivation has been recorded in the Western district of Cayo. The total area under cultivation is approximately 27,977 hectares. Members of the Belize Citrus Growers Association provide Citrus Products of Belize Ltd., the main processor, with citrus fruits, mainly oranges, and grapefruits.
Citrus deliveries for 2015/2016 crop year should benefit from higher yields as a result of good weather and continued success of measures to mitigate the impact of citrus greening.
After flat lining in the previous two crop years, citrus deliveries dipped by 1.0% to 4.7mn boxes, notwithstanding a prolonged dry season that enabled the harvest to be extended into early July. Grapefruit deliveries surged by 25.3% to 0.7mn boxes, the highest amount since the 2011(2012 crop, due to crop management practices aimed at controlling citrus greening and the greasy spot rind blotch (GSRB) disease that particularly affects grapefruit. In contrast, orange deliveries declined by 4.7% to 4.0mn boxes, the lowest amount produced since the outbreak of citrus greening in the 2009/2010 crop year. Average prices paid to orange and grapefruit farmers declined. Despite smaller harvests in the US and Brazil, sluggish demand for orange juice in the US market caused prices paid to orange farmers to fall from $1.96 per pound solid (ps) to $1.75 per ps. Similarly, a decline in international prices for grapefruit juice pushed prices paid to grapefruit farmers downward from $2.51 per ps to $2.31 per ps.
|Deliveries (boxes) Orange Grapefruit||4,158,767 576,234||4,051,659 678,147|
|Concentrate Produced (ps) Orange Grapefruit||25,060,141 2,315,303||25,303,632 2,749,901|
|Not from Concentrate (ps) Orange Grapefruit||252,917.3 7,473||216,731 55,871|
|Pulp (pounds) Orange Grapefruit||2,294,688 142,464||1,747,728 300,192|
|Oil Produced (pounds) Orange Grapefruit||1,641,186 76,267||1,544,893 93,631|
|Source: Citrus Products of Belize Limited.|
During the 2013/2014 crop season, increases in world market prices for Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) coupled with the Price Formula Agreement with the factory, resulted in the revision of the citrus prices by the Committee of Management. At the time of the report, grapefruit and orange prices slightly increased and stood at $1.98 and $1.45, respectively.
Belize exports most of its citrus products to the US under the Caribbean Basin Initiative. Other export markets are Japan, Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union. Table 2 provides a synopsis of the revenue contribution to GDP by export market for the 2013/2014 and 2012/2013 crop years.
Citrus Exports by Destination and Revenue
|Export Market||2013/2014 US$000s||2012/2013 US$000s|
Source: Citrus Products of Belize Limited.