Brazil: Orange processing slows down but continues higher than usual for the period
The processing of the oranges from the 2022/23 crop is beginning to slow down in Brazil, but it is still higher than the usual for this time of the year. In February, five plants – of the large-sized processors – were operating, …
The processing of the oranges from the 2022/23 crop is beginning to slow down in Brazil, but it is still higher than the usual for this time of the year. In February, five plants – of the large-sized processors – were operating, the same as that last year but much more than that in 2020 and in 2021, when only a single plant was processing oranges.
According to Cepea collaborators, last year, the orange harvest was delayed, which explained the higher volume being processed in February. However, in the 2022/23 season, late processing is due to rains, which are hampering crop activities – although workers manage to get into the groves to harvest oranges, transportation is being difficulted.
The end of processing is still uncertain. Agents from processors reported that planning has been postponed because of the difficulties in crop activities. So far, some plants are expected to continue to process oranges in March.
A frequent concern among agents from processors is the yield of the oranges being harvested, majorly in 2023. They reported that, with frequent rainfall, the quality of the fruits for juice production has decreased, raising the number of boxes needed to the produce a ton of concentrated juice – higher moisture raises water absorption by fruits.
As for prices in the spot market, they were up to BRL 38.00 per 40.8-kilo box (harvested and delivered to processor) in February, considering large-sized companies. At smaller-sized processors, the prices paid for pear and late oranges reached BRL 40.00/box.
For the new crop (2023/24), whose processing is expected to begin in May/June, bids from large-sized processors have been up to BRL 38.00/box. Agents from processors reported that, despite the increase compared to the first bids for the 2022/23 crop, farmers expected higher prices, and, thus, many of them postponed deals.
ORANGE JUICE – Despite the valuation of concentrated orange juice at ICE Futures in recent months, there have not been major reflexes on processors’ revenue. According to Cepea collaborators, most of the juice is being sold through contracts with fixed prices. Since Jan. 1st, the contract due in March has valued 19%%, closing at USD 3,543/ton on Feb. 23rd.
TAHITI LIME – Tahiti lime processing was high in February but is expected to slow down in March. The company that processes tahiti lime aims to receive lower volumes of the fruit in the coming weeks. In February, two plants were receiving tahiti lime, but from March onwards, only one of them is expected to keep activities going. The prices paid by large and small-sized processors for tahiti lime are between BRL 12 and BRL 14/box.