International marketing of lychee and what is the future for Florida growers

A. Ray Rafie, Carlos F. Balerdi


Lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) is an exotic subtropical fruit crop and is considered economically important for many of the Asian nations. China, India, Thailand and Mexico are considered the major players in the international commerce of lychees. In the year 2000, China produced 950,000 t whereas Florida produced only 1,500 t of lychees. Most of the lychees produced in Southeast Asia are consumed locally in fresh or processed forms. Demand for fresh lychees in the U.S. market is increasing due to Asian and Hispanic population growth. There is sufficient evidence to believe that demand for lychees from Florida is increasing and that lychees remain a viable crop. The highly perishable nature of the fruit makes it difficult for the Asian lychee to withstand the long distance shipment via sea freight to the North American market. Lychee is a host of fruit flies and is not allowed to enter the U.S. territory from many countries that are considered fruit fly zones. In recent years Mexican lychee acreage and volume have increased, resulting in more fruit being exported to the U.S., impacting market prices.


'chen purple'; 'brewster'; 'mauritius'; 'sweet cliff'; cultivar; fruit flies

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283