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Market Data 14.03.2019

Brazil: Juice inventories estimates are revised up, but volume continues low

Data released in late February reinforced perspectives that the inventories of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent should decrease to critical levels at the end of the current season (2018/19).

Brazil: Juice inventories estimates are revised up, but volume continues low
(Photo: CEPEA)

Data released in late February reinforced perspectives that the inventories of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent should decrease to critical levels at the end of the current season (2018/19). Although estimates were revised up (by 36.7 %) compared to the first report, released in August/18, the volume forecast is still one of the lowest in the recent citrus activity (the second lowest since 2010/2011).

According to the report, released by CitrusBR on Feb. 26, ending stocks of FCOJ Equivalent at processors from São Paulo State (on June 30 2019) should total only 200.56 thousand tons. If confirmed, this volume would account for a 41.5 % reduction compared to that in 2017/18 (at 342.96 thousand tons). Thus, even if higher production estimates for 2019/20 are confirmed in the citrus belt (São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro), low juice supply may again boost the orange prices paid to Brazilian citrus farmers next year.

This scenario, in turn, reflects both the lower production in the current season (2018/19), which is almost 29 % smaller than the previous one, according to Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund), and the ending stocks in June/18 (related to the 2017/18 crop), which, although positive, were not considered too high. Besides, yield has decreased at processors this crop, due to the weather, demanding larger amounts of orange for juice production.

The increase in the volume estimated back in August/18 compared to that from February/19 may be linked to the reduction in the Brazilian juice exports, due to both lower demand from the main importing countries and processors strategy of keeping larger volumes stocked at the end of the 2018/19 season. Still, ending stocks in the new season will be lower than the strategic level established, at 300 thousand tons, reinforcing the predictions for firm prices paid to Brazilian citrus farmers – for both those who sell oranges to the industry and the ones who sell to the in natura market.

In fact, the first bids from large-sized processors for the oranges from the 2019/20 season started earlier again (in October/18). Bidding prices were around 22 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered at processors, to which may still be added a participation additional to the juice selling price in the international market. In 2018/19, the first bidding prices were up to 20 BRL per box. Trades, however, have already been reduced or ended.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – The availability of high quality oranges was low in SP State in February, pushing up quotes of all the varieties surveyed by Cepea. Between Feb. 1 and 28, pear orange quotes averaged 40.66 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 33.6 % up compared to that in January (2 – 31).

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