Citrus production and packing operations in China

Guiwen Alvin Cheng


As a leading citrus producer, China produced about 20 million metric tons of citrus in 2007. In 2008 the citrus industry endured several challenges, including a snowstorm at the start of the year and the fruit fl y scandal around September. However, overall nationwide citrus production is estimated to be somewhat higher than the year before. Additional plantings that are coming into production and improvement in average unit yield are the key contributing factors. Acreage over the last 5 years has increased by an average of about 6.5%, reaching 1,941,000 ha (4,797,000 acres) in 2007. Citrus packing operations in China consist of mostly small packing houses with packing lines of 2–5 metric tons per hour capacities. There are some modern and well-equipped lines with electronic sizing and optical sorting with a throughput greater than 10 metric tons per hour. Hundreds of packing lines are distributed throughout citrus producing areas. Citrus exposed to packinghouse treatments including coatings are believed to be only a small portion of the overall production due to constraints including traditional packaging approaches, insufficient cold storage and transportation support, and a highly price-sensitive domestic market. Both production and postharvest handling of citrus fruit in China will continue to improve in the years ahead as the industry adopts better growing and handling technologies and standardizes its operations.

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