The world market for certified organic citrus (fresh and juice) is presently small and production accounts for less than 1 percent of global citrus production. The main markets are the European Community and the United States, which are also the world's largest two producers. Consumption of organic citrus is expected to rise steadily in developed countries in the coming years, providing interesting export opportunities.
There are good prospects for fresh citrus exports to the US and Japan. Although the United States produces organic citrus, demand has been rising steadily and may exceed supply. The Japanese market for fresh organic citrus is presently very small but offers interesting prospects if exporters can meet the strict Japanese regulations on organic products and phytosanitary requirements. The EU market for fresh organic oranges, tangerines and lemons is dominated by Italy and Spain, which limits organic export opportunities to grapefruit, limes, and off-season citrus from May to September.
The market for organic citrus juices is presently extremely small, accounting for some 0.3 percent of total citrus juice consumption. Given the average 2 percent market share of organic foods in developed countries, there is considerable potential for growth, especially in not-from-concentrate (NFC) juices. It seems that producers have anticipated this growth, while demand has not really taken off yet. This has led to a fall in prices. Further decrease in the price premium is expected in the coming years, as the European Union, the United States and Brazil have the capability of increasing their output markedly. The extent of this decrease will depend on how fast demand catches up with supply. Given the high competitiveness of Brazil in the production of organic frozen concentrated orange juice, other countries might consider producing organic NFC juice.