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Poor citrus harvest in Georgia

Tuesday, November 30
Compared with previous years, Georgia’s 2010 citrus yield is very poor, approaching just half of last year’s harvest. In 2009 around 100 thousand tonnes of citrus fruits were harvested in Georgia. This year’s harvest is estimated to be a maximum of about 60 thousand tonnes. Despite this analysts observe that prices of the fruits have not gone risen in the local market. This leads us to assume that exports of citrus fruits have decreased, with the majority of the harvest staying within the country. Data shows that the local market consumes about 10 percent of the harvest; the rest is either exported or processed. Since Georgia lost Russian market, most of the citrus fruit is exported to Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia, while some also go to Moldova, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and a very small amount to the Czech Republic. As for this year’s harvest, analysts think that around 30 percent of the citrus harvest is of very low quality and so most will be processed rather than sold fresh. In 2006 Georgia yielded around 52 thousand tonnes of citrus fruits, in 2007 around 98 thousand tonnes, in 2008 48 thousand tonnes. 2010 was a record harvest of 100 thousand tonnes.