Brazil: despite high orange prices, profitability is limited in 2021/22
In 2021, orange prices were high in São Paulo State (SP) and in the Triângulo Mineiro. In general, the industry in SP kept the demand high for fruits, and the low production limited the supply throughout the year. Although the remuneration (in BRL per box) had been higher, the profitability for many citrus growers was restricted, …
In 2021, orange prices were high in São Paulo State (SP) and in the Triângulo Mineiro. In general, the industry in SP kept the demand high for fruits, and the low production limited the supply throughout the year. Although the remuneration (in BRL per box) had been higher, the profitability for many citrus growers was restricted, given that the limited productivity increased the cost of production per unit even more.
Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) indicated, in its estimate released in December/21, that the production in the citrus belt may reduce 1.7 % compared to 2020/21, totaling 264.14 million 40.8-boxes. Even with the positive biennial cycle in the 2021/22 season and the higher fruit load, oranges have presented a smaller size, which explains the lower production.
From May to August 2021, rainfall accounted for only 30 % of the regular volume for the period, according to data from Somar Meteorologia/Climatempo. Fundecitrus says that this scenario affected even irrigated orange groves (which correspond to 30 % of the citrus belt), due to the limited water supply in tanks. In some areas, frosts in July worsened the situation. Besides the small-sized oranges, the premature fruit drop was one of the worst in history.
Due to the low supply of fruits, orange juice processors boosted prices compared to the 2020/21 season. In the partial of the crop (from July to December/21), the average price in the spot market was 27.50 BRL/40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered at the industry, for a nominal increase of 22.5 % in relation to the same period last year.
EXPORTS – As expected, orange juice (volume equivalent to concentrate juice) shipments finished the 2020/21 season with a 7 % decrease in relation to the previous (2019/20). From July/20 to June/21, shipments to all destinations totaled 1.03 million tons, according to data from Secex. The revenue, in turn, amounted 1.54 billion USD, 15 % down compared to the season before.
IN NATURA MARKET – Orange prices hit nominal records in most part of 2021. Increases are attributed to the limited supply in the 2021/22 crop, because of the low volume of rainfall and high temperatures in the second semester of 2020 and the low humidity in 2021. From the second semester of 2021 onwards, the low quality of fruits (due to a long period of dry weather and frosts in July) reinforced the upward trend. In the partial of the crop (from July to December/21), the average price for pear oranges (in natura) is at BRL 39.52/40.8-kilo box, on tree, 20 % up from the average in the same period in 2020, in nominal terms.
TAHITI – The price trend was atypical in 2021. Values were low in the first semester and in some periods of the second part of the year, and peak prices were less intense. From January to December, the average price for tahiti lime was at BRL 25.19/27-kilo box, harvested, 31.3 % lower compared to that in 2020.