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The heavy rains that hit São Paulo State in the first fortnight of February did not result in losses in orange groves, but reduced sales and hampered activities in the field. It is worth to mention that the harvesting pace is usually a lot slower in the first quarter of the year and that many of the fruits available in the market in the first half of the month had undesirable features, such as larger size, thick peel and were beginning to crystalize.

According to Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund), the harvesting of the current crop is ending in the Brazilian citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro), having reached 96 % of the area, on average, for all varieties. In pera rio groves, 97 % of the oranges have been harvested, for valencia and folha murcha, 95 %, and for natal, 93 %.

Despite the lower quality in the current off-season period, precipitation should not reduce the output in the 2019/20 crop, but underpin prices in the in natura market – as supply is low, the demand for higher quality oranges should be firm. Between February 3 and 14, pear orange prices averaged 32.68 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 10.8 % up compared to that in the first half of January.

FUNDECITRUS – On February 11, Fundecitrus released their third estimates for the current season (2019/20). According to the report, the output should total 384.87 million 40.8-kilo box, 0.11 % down compared to that forecast in December/19 and 1.03 % lower than the first crop estimates, released in May/19.

According to the report, the rain volume between May/19 and Jan/20 was lower than the historical average in almost all producing regions (except in northern and northwestern SP), which limited growth, primarily for the varieties hamlin, westin, rubi, folha murch and natal. In general, the oranges have reached different sizes among the producing regions in the citrus belt, due to irregular rains.

TAHITI LIME – The rainy weather in São Paulo in the first fortnight of February hampered field activities and helped to control supply (it is worth to mention that, currently, tahiti lime is at crop peak). Still, on the average of the period, tahiti lime prices dropped 18.2 % compared to that in the same period of January, averaging 11.65 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, in the first half of February.