Egypt has topped the list of countries that export oranges for the second year in a row, with exports totaling 1.7 million tons in 2019, accounting for 38 percent of the global exports of oranges in 2019, according to ASWAQ Financial company.
Egypt planted upwards of 12 million orange trees with a production capacity of 3.4 million tons of oranges, a three percent increase when compared to numbers in 2018.
Aswaq explained that farmers had boosted efforts to plant orange trees to meet global demand for the citrus fruit, taking advantage of the climate in Egypt, which is conducive to growing orange trees.
Egypt increased the orange trees planted by 44 percent, or 1.05 million tons, during the past ten years, compared to 2.4 million tons recorded in 2009.
Spain, which ranked first among countries exporting oranges before 2018, came in second in 2019, after traders reduced the volume of orange exports amid orange prices falling by 23 percent, standing between 12 and 18 cents per kilo.
Egypt’s exports were valued at $US 662 million in 2019, increasing by two percent compared to $US 646 million recorded the previous year.
Russia topped the list of countries importing oranges grown in Egypt, with Russian imports of Egyptian oranges reaching 284,000 tons, followed by Saudi Arabia at 271,000 tons, China at 214,000 tons, and the Netherlands at 130,000 tons.
The European Union, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and Iraq were listed among the biggest importers of oranges worldwide, with global exports totaling 4.7 million tons.
Egypt’s Ministry of Agriculture managed to open new global markets to increase the export of oranges in 2019, such as in New Zealand, with Egypt’s Agriculture Minister announcing in June 2019 an agreement to export Egyptian oranges to the country.
Egypt successfully opened up 12 new foreign markets to more than 20 varieties of Egyptian agricultural products last year, and the country was also able to reduce additional inspections imposed by countries in the European Union, according to Head of the Central Department of Agricultural Quarantine at the Ministry of Agriculture Ahmed el-Attar.
In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Attar added that the ban on all Egyptian exports to the Arab Gulf countries had been lifted and that Egyptian exports of onions to Saudi Arabia have also resumed.
Saudi Arabia previously banned the import of various Egyptian crops, including strawberries, peppers, and guava, due to the high percentage of pesticide residue, in violation of international health and safety standards.
According to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Egyptian agricultural exports increased to more than five million tons between January and December 2019