Citrus fruits include: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and pomeloes. They originated from Australia, New Caledonia and New Guinea. These fruits have been cultivated since ancient times. In international trade, citrus fruits have the most value and often sell for more.

There are two major markets for citrus fruit: the fresh fruit market and the processed citrus fruits market. The fresh fruit market basically refers to markets that sell raw fruit exactly as it is. On the other hand, the processed citrus fruits market purchases fresh fruit for the purpose of processing them into other products like juice. Many citrus fruits are eaten raw, either peeled and eaten in segments (in the case of oranges) or eaten with a spoon (as with grapefruit).

Lemons and limes are typically not eaten by themselves, they are usually diluted and have sugar added to them or used as garnishing dishes. The juice from oranges and grapefruits is a common drink in households. The pulp from oranges and lemon can be used to make marmalade. Basically, all citrus fruits have vitamin C in high quantities that prevents scurvy, reduces the risk of stomach cancer, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of kidney stone formation. Citrus fruits are cultivated all over the world. 70% of the global output is grown in the Northern Hemisphere and also in the Mediterranean. Here is the list of top 10 largest citrus producing countries in the world in 2019.

1. Brazil

Largest Citrus Producing Countries 2019

At a total output of 20,682,309 tons of citrus fruits, Brazil is the world’s largest citrus producing nation. It cultivates: grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes and tangerines. The country produces around 72,000 tons of grapefruit, 1,606,000 tons of limes and lemons, 18,279,309 of oranges and tangerines. Almost 35% of all the oranges in the planet come from Brazil. The country is also responsible for the production of more than half of all the orange juice in the world. The main reason why Brazil has managed to stay on top of these fields for this long is its climate and the many farmers there. The area that produces the most citrus fruit is called the Citric Belt, and area that encloses the state of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. Sao Paulo has crops that are distributed over nearly 500,000 hectares.

2. China

Citrus Producing Countries

The country has the second largest production capacity of citrus fruits in the world. it produces 547,000 tons of grapefruit, 745,100 tons of limes and lemons, 2,865,000 tons of oranges, 14,152,000 tons of tangerines and 1,308,000 tons of unspecified citrus fruits . All these citrus fruits total to 19,617,100 tons. China’s citrus fruits’ output and acreage has increased 20 times in the past half a century. The fastest growth occurred after the ‘80s. In the 1990s, there was an oversupply after which acreage stopped. Citrus fruits in China mature from November to December, with a small variety maturing earlier or later than that period. Most Chinese people eat citrus fruits as they are. Only 5% of citrus fruits are processed – the rest is used fresh. Only 2% of Chinese citrus fruits are exported, the rest is consumed domestically.

3. United States

Citrus Producing Countries

The nation has the highest production of grapefruit in the world, at 1,580,000 tons. The production of lemons and limes is at 722,000 tons, oranges at a whopping 7,357,000 tons. Tangerines were at 14,152,000 tons and the other unspecified citrus fruits. All these amount to 10,017,000 tons, making the United States the third largest producer in the world. The majority of the citrus production is done in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. The United States produces plenty of oranges which are consumed by Americans. Orange consumption was 9.1 pounds per capita. According to USDA, Americans consume their citrus fruit through juice.

4. Mexico

Citrus Producing Countries

The country has a total of 6,851,000 tons of citrus fruits. The breakdown is as follows. The grapefruit production is 390,000 tons, lemons and limes are at 1,880,000 tons, oranges at 4,160,000 tons, 355,000 tons of tangerines, 66,000 tons of unspecified citrus fruits. Mexico is the only important foreign supplier of citrus for the U.S. market. Most of the citrus production in Mexico is meant for the local market but the state of Nuevo Leon is engineered to meet the demand for fresh citrus exports. The main production areas are scattered over several states. The government of Mexico does its best to avoid interfering in citrus production, in comparison to other food stuffs. The main challenge that affects citrus production is changes in climate.

5. India

Citrus Producing Countries

India is the world’s largest producer of lemons and limes in the world. The country produces 178,000 tons of grapefruit, 3,900,000 tons oranges, no tangerines and 148,000 unspecified citrus foods. The total production of citrus fruits is 6,286,000. The citrus industry in India among the largest as it holds position three among all fruits produced after bananas and mangos. India is in the ninth position among top orange producing nations, contributing 4% of the world’s total output. Citrus fruits in India are cultivated over an area of about 923.2 thousand hectares.

6. Spain

Citrus Producing Countries

The nation produces 35,000 tons of grape fruit, 880,000 tons of limes and lemons, 2,691,400 tons of oranges, 2,080,700 tons of tangerines and 16,500 tons of unspecified citrus fruit. This all sums up to 5,703,600 tons of citrus fruit. The lemon was introduced to Spain by the Romans. By the mid-19th century, citrus fruits had become a great force for the Spanish and Valencian economy. Currently, Spain is the seventh largest producer of oranges and one of the world’s main exporters of citrus fruits.

7. Iran

Citrus Producing Countries

Iran may be in a dry area but it’s among the largest producers of citrus fruits in the world. It produces 54,000 tons of grape fruit, 615,000 tons of limes and lemons, 2,300,000 tons of oranges, 702,000 tons of tangerines and 68,000 tons of unspecified citrus fruits. The total production of citrus fruits is 3,739,000 tons. Iran is the number one producer of fruits in the Middle East and North Africa regions. It has dedicated 230,000 hectares of citrus orchards to the production of citrus fruits. The citrus fruit in Iran is around 303 years old. The main citrus producing area is Mazandaran Province and the northern seaside lands of the Caspian Sea.

8. Italy

Citrus Producing Countries

It has a total production of 3,579,782 tons of combined citrus fruits. It has a production of 7,000 tons of grape fruit, 546,584 tons of limes and lemons, 2,293,466 tons of oranges, 702,732 tons of tangerines and 30,000 tons of unspecified citrus fruits. The main citrus-producing states are: Sicily and Calabria which account for 59% and 22% of the country’s entire production. The main varieties of orange cultivated in Italy are: Naveline, Valencia, Sanguinello, Meli, and Ippolito. Most of Italy’s citrus production is consumed locally and eaten fresh.

9. Nigeria

Citrus Producing Countries

Nigeria is a unique country in that it doesn’t produce any grapefruit, lemons and limes, oranges and tangerines. It does however; produce 3,325,000 tons of unspecified citrus fruits. Its total output is therefore, 3,325,000 tons. There are three million hectares of land which are dedicated to growing citrus fruits. The main citrus producing states in Nigeria include: Kogi, Ogun, Ebonyi, Nassarawa, Benue, Kaduna, Osun, Taraba, Imo, Ekiti, Edo, Delta and Oyo. Most citrus production is from oranges but Nigeria also produces grape fruit, lemons and limes. Most of these citrus products are consumed locally and eaten raw. However, juice is taken by many people as well.

10. Turkey

Citrus Producing Countries

This country has a production capacity of 3,102,414 tons of citrus production. Grape fruit production is at 181,923 tons, lemons and limes are at 706,652 tons, oranges are at 1,472,454 tons, tangerines are at 738,786 tons while the country has a production of unspecified citrus fruits are 2,599. The main areas that produce citrus fruits in Turkey are: Mersin province and Antalya province. Mersin Province which is located in western Cukurova produces lemons mainly. Antalya province is responsible for orange production. About 25% of orange production comes from Antalya province.

These are the world’s largest citrus producing countries in the world 2019 as per metric tons. Most of these fruits are consumed locally within the country of production but some are exported to international markets. Citrus fruits are nutritious and once in a while they should be part of your meal.


  1. This article makes no sense. It says that Nigeria doesn’t produce any grapefruit, lemons and limes. Then a few sentences later says that Nigeria produces grapefruits, lemons and limes. So which is it?