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Market Data 10/13/2017

Florida Citrus October forecast: all orange production down 21 percent

The 2017-2018 Florida all orange forecast released today by the USDA Agricultural Statistics Board is 54.0 million boxes, 21 percent less than last season’s final production.

Florida Citrus October forecast: all orange production down 21 percent
Citrus production by type and state - United States (Photo: USDA)

All Oranges 54.0 Million Boxes

The 2017-2018 Florida all orange forecast released today by the USDA Agricultural Statistics Board is 54.0 million boxes, 21 percent less than last season’s final production. The total includes 23.0 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 31.0 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The Navel orange forecast, at 600 thousand boxes, accounts for 3 percent of the non-Valencia total.

The estimated number of bearing trees for all oranges is 48.9 million. Trees planted in 2014 and earlier are considered bearing this season. Field work for the latest Commercial Citrus Inventory was completed in June 2017. Attrition rates were applied to the results to determine the number of bearing trees which are used to weight and expand objective count data in the forecast model.

The citrus growing region was drought-free at the start of the 2017-2018 citrus growing season. In January, the region started showing abnormally dry conditions. By February, bloom had begun and was full in some areas. Other areas held off and showed only light and scattered bloom. In March, the Southern citrus growing area was in moderate drought conditions, while the Northern area remained abnormally dry. During these times of dry weather, citrus groves required the use of irrigation systems. Temperatures were above average for the majority of the season. Precipitation returned for the summer months to keep all areas drought-free. In September, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida at Marco Island and went up through the Western side of the citrus belt. The hurricane left some areas flooded and extremely wet.
A 10 year regression has been used for comparison purposes. For those previous 10 seasons, average actual production is 124 million boxes. The initial forecast has deviated from final production by an average of 6 percent, with 8 seasons above and 2 below, with differences ranging from 2 percent below to 19 percent above.

The procedures used in this forecast are the same as used in past seasons. The methodology is described on page 5 of this report. All references to “average,” “minimum” and “maximum” refer to the previous 10 seasons. Average fruit per tree includes both regular bloom and the first late bloom.

Non-Valencia Oranges 23.0 Million Boxes

The non-Valencia forecast of 23.0 million boxes is 30 percent lower than last season’s production. The estimated number of bearing trees (without Navels) is 19.6 million. The estimated fruit per tree for early-midseason oranges is 741, a decrease of 3 percent from last season. Projected fruit size is below average, requiring an estimated 289 pieces of fruit to fill a 90-pound box. At 48 percent, droppage is well above the maximum.
Based on fruit population, the prorated forecast shows a decrease of 4.21 million boxes in the Western area compared to last season. The combined other areas show a decrease of 5.79 million boxes.

The Navel forecast of 600 thousand boxes is 25 percent lower than last season’s production. If realized, this will be the lowest in a series dating back to 1979-1980 when separate Navel forecasts began. The estimated number of bearing trees is 913 thousand, down 2 percent from the previous season. The estimated fruit per tree is 252, an increase of 15 percent from last season. Projected fruit size
is slightly above average, requiring an estimated 139 pieces of fruit to fill a 90-pound box. Projected droppage is well above maximum at 49 percent.
Valencia Oranges 31.0 Million Boxes

The Valencia forecast of 31.0 million boxes is 13 percent lower than last season’s production. The estimated number of bearing trees is 28.4 million, down 2 percent from the previous season. The estimated fruit per tree is 510, an increase of 13 percent from last season. Projected fruit size is below average, requiring an estimated 237 pieces of fruit to fill a 90-pound box. Projected droppage is well above the maximum at 45 percent.
Based on fruit population, the prorated forecast shows a decrease of 3.20 million boxes in the Western area compared to last season. The combined other areas show a decrease of 1.55 million boxes.

Please download the full citrus crop production forecast: www.nass.usda.gov

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