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Market Data 12.01.2023

Brazil: Orange prices decrease in the natura market, but move up at the industry

In 2022, orange prices were similar to those in 2021 in the in natura market. Although the production had increased in the citrus belt in São Paulo and in Triângulo Mineiro, the supply was controlled, due to the fact that more fruits were sent to the industry.

Brazil: Orange prices decrease in the natura market, but move up at the industry
(Photo: CEPEA)

In 2022, orange prices were similar to those in 2021 in the in natura market. Although the production had increased in the citrus belt in São Paulo and in Triângulo Mineiro, the supply was controlled, due to the fact that more fruits were sent to the industry. However, both the Brazilian economy and the weather were unstable, limiting the consumption in some periods. From January to November, the average price for pear oranges was at BRL 38.93 per 40.8-kilo box (on tree), 1.6 % down compared to the same period in 2021.

As for the industrial segment, values moved up from 2021 to 2022, despite the recovery in the orange production. Juice stocks closed the 2021/22 season at low levels, leading processors to increase the demand for the raw material. From July to November, the average price in the spot market was BRL 31.22 per 40.8-kilo box (harvested and delivered), 8% up in relation to the same period in 2021. It is worth noting that producers were expecting more significant price rises, due to the sharp increase of production costs.

The orange production in the 2022/23 season is likely to hit 314.11 million 40.8-kilo boxes in the citrus belt (SP and Triângulo Mineiro), for an increase of 19.5 % in relation to the crop before, according to that projected by Fundecitrus in December/22. This forecast is related to the favourable weather (regular rainfall). In spite of the recovery, the production may not be enough to have surplus, due to the high demand from the industry, since juice stocks are low.

According to CitrusBR, orange juice ending stocks in the 2021/22 crop (June/22) were confirmed at low levels, 143.1 thousand tons, downing almost 55 % compared to the season before.

Despite the increase in the 2022/23 orange production, the volume in stocks by the end of the crop may not recover. CitrusBR estimates that 2022/23 stocks, in June 2023, are likely to total 140 thousand tons. The industrial yield, in turn, may be lower than in the crop before, and exports are expected to increase, due to the higher juice demand from the US.

JUICE EXPORTS – Orange juice shipments decreased 3 % in the 2021/22 season (from July/21 to June/22) compared to the previous. Exports to all destinations totaled slightly more than 1 million tons, according to Secex. The revenue amounted USD 1.68 billion, 9 % up in the same comparison.

This is the second consecutive crop that shipments move down, and this may be related to the low orange production in São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro over the last two crops (2020/21 and 2021/22). The revenue increase, in turn, is linked to the higher dollar prices, especially from March/22 onwards. In the partial of the current season (from July/22 to November/22), exports are moving up again, influenced by the firm demand from the United States.

The 2022/23 orange crop in Florida may be the lowest since 1936/37, with the impacts of greening reinforced by hurricanes Ian and Nicole. In December, the USDA updated its production estimate to only 20 million 40.8-kilo boxes, 29 % less compared to that forecast in October and 51 % below the previous season.

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