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Orange supply should continue low in the in natura market of São Paulo State (SP) in November. Besides the lower harvest in SP and the Triângulo Mineiro in the 2020/21 season, the current high temperatures and rains below average are debilitating plants and constraining fruits development on tree. However, the warmer weather in November should keep demand firm, which may underpin prices, at least in the first fortnight of the month.

As regards the return of rains to the citrus-producing regions in Brazil in late October, the farmers consulted by Cepea indicate that volumes were low, and precipitation was irregular. Thus, the current scenario continues unfavorable to quality and limiting an increase in supply (primarily of pear and late oranges, whose sales are generally higher at this time of the year).

In general, the rains registered in October are a lot lower than the average in the last 30 years. For the first 10 days of November, Climatempo (weather forecast agency) forecasts rains to several areas in SP. If moisture conditions get back to normal, the quality of the oranges may be recovered, and new flowers may open, resulting in a season with crops at different stages and fruits getting ready out of the ideal harvesting period.

2021/22 SEASON – Brazilian agents from the citrus sector have been concerned about the development of next season’s crops (2021/22). As leaves and many flowers have dropped, forecasts are negative.

In some groves in northern SP, where rains were higher, flowers have been reported, but flowering is considered sporadic. Flower settlement will depend on the weather from now onwards, but agents are concerned, since plants are very debilitated.

TAHITI LIME – The availability of tahiti lime should still be low in early November, tending to gradually increase with fruits from irrigated groves. According to agents, rains in late October, although low and sporadic, tend to favor growth – thus, the harvesting may step up in the second fortnight of the month.

However, the volume of tahiti lime should be lower than that initially forecast, since the high price levels in September and early October led some farmers to harvest small-sized fruits, which had not reached the ideal maturation either (these fruits were supposed to be ready in November). However, with the lower number of containers sent to the international market, supply should stay mostly in Brazil.

Following the formal adoption of the organisation’s Statutes in March 2020, the WCO Secretariat just collected and released the first crop production and export forecasts for the forthcoming Southern Hemisphere citrus season 2020. The preliminary forecast is collected from industry associations in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Peru, South Africa, and Uruguay. The Secretariat is working closely with Brazil and Bolivia to include their data as well into the forecast very shortly.

The preliminary forecast shows that the 2020 citrus Southern Hemisphere crops is expected to reach 8.387.341 T, which represents a small decrease of 3 % compared to the 2019 crop. Export is expected to increase by 12 % to 3.486.883 T, which could be explained as a result of consumers’ higher demand for citrus fruit in COVID-19 times, thanks to the nutritional benefits associated with citrus and more home consumption. On the processing side, a total of 2.426.154 T of citrus are expected to be destined to the juice market (pending the confirmation of Brazil’s data), which constitutes a decrease of 15 % compared to 2019.

By citrus categories, the soft citrus and lemon & lime markets show stable figures, with similar production volumes compared to 2019, whereas orange showed a small decrease (-6 %), and grapefruit production increased by 3 percent compared to the previous year. Expected export volumes show increases across all categories, with lemon & lime projecting the greatest increase, by 32 % compared to 2019.

WCO is now fully operational with a complete agenda of activities for 2020. In July, a meeting of the membership will review the state of the industry and take stock of the latest consumer trends and producing countries’ experiences in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Indeed, in the past months, citrus has been highlighted as one of the most attractive fruit categories for consumers, given their health properties. Consequently, the issue of nutrition and promotion of citrus consumption will also be discussed with members in the upcoming meeting.

All oranges 74.0 million boxes

The 2019-2020 Florida all orange forecast released today by the USDA Agricultural Statistics Board is 74.0 million boxes, 3 percent more than last season’s final production. The total includes 32.0 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, and Navel varieties) and 42.0 million boxes of Valencia oranges. The Navel orange forecast, at 800 thousand boxes, accounts for 3 percent of the non-Valencia total.

The estimated number of bearing trees for all oranges is 50.1 million. Trees planted in 2016 and earlier are considered bearing this season. Field work for the latest Commercial Citrus Inventory was completed in June 2019. Attrition rates were applied to the results to determine the number of bearing trees which are used to weight and expand objective count data in the forecast model.

A 9 year regression has been used for comparison purposes. All references to “average”, “minimum”, and “maximum” refer to the previous 10 seasons, excluding the 2017-2018 season, which was affected by Hurricane Irma. Average fruit per tree includes both regular bloom and the first late bloom.

Please download the full citrus crop production forecast: