Egyptian Citrus Traders Shift Focus to Canada and Brazil Due to Supply Chain Issues

Published Mar 14, 2024
Egyptian citrus traders are shifting their focus to alternative markets like Canada and Brazil due to logistical challenges such as Red Sea attacks, storage, and export regulations. The Red Sea supply chain disruption has prompted an increase in Egyptian citrus exports to Canada and Brazil. Egypt's free trade agreement with Mercosur in 2017 was an initial start for the Egypt-Brazil fresh orange trade and has further facilitated this shift in focus. With its large population and solid economy, Brazil presents a promising Egyptian citrus market. Overall, Egypt is expected to remain the world's largest orange exporter by volume, with exports set to expand in various markets, including Canada and Brazil. Despite supply chain challenges, Egypt's orange production is projected to increase in the upcoming year. The country's primary crop is oranges, with Valencia and navel being the main varieties for export.

Egyptian citrus traders face logistical obstacles such as transportation, storage, and export regulations, which result in delays and increased expenses in Middle Eastern and Asian markets.. To retain competitiveness and assure continued expansion, traders are focusing on alternate markets such as Canada and Brazil. These markets provide easier access to transportation and storage facilities and simplified export processes.

According to USDA projections, Egypt's orange production will increase 2.7% YoY in marketing year (MY) 2023/24, totaling 3.7 million metric tons (mmt). This rise is related to favorable weather conditions during tree flowering, which improves fruit set and yield. Egypt's primary crop is oranges, accounting for 70% of the total farmed area. Valencia and navel are the main varieties for export, while others, like Baladi and Sukkari, are preferred for domestic consumption.

Figure 1: Export Volume of Fresh Oranges from Egypt 2018 to 2023

Egyptian Fresh Orange Exports to Brazil and Canada

*2023 data are author’s estimates based on historical data and current market trends

Source: Tridge, TradeMap

The fighting in the Red Sea has disrupted the supply chain, posing considerable hurdles for citrus fruit export to Europe. This has led to an upsurge in Egyptian citrus imports to both Canada and Brazil. Egypt inked a free trade agreement with Mercosur in 2017; market trends have contributed to this move. Since then, the Brazilian market has exploded, reaching 7,512 mt of fresh Egyptian oranges imported in 2022, a 273.29% YoY surge. Canada's demand for Egyptian citrus has progressively increased, with the emergence of new trade routes facilitating this move. With its large population and solid economy, Brazil presents a prospective market for Egyptian citrus. According to the recent Tridge On-the-Ground Update, prices for Egyptian Navel oranges saw a 10% WoW increase in W9, up to USD 17.16 per 15 kilogram (kg) box, marking a high demand in the Brazilian market.

Egypt is predicted to continue as the world's largest orange exporter by volume, with exports expected to expand by 25% YoY in 2023/24, up to 2 mmt. Increased international demand and collaborative government-private sector activities also benefited fresh orange exports. Tridge anticipates further expansion of fresh orange exports from Egypt to Canada and Brazil, along with headliners like the EU, Middle East and Asian countries, driven by higher volume and sound quality of Egyptian citrus fruit.

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