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AGRANA: Challenging market environment weighs on results in financial first quarter
Stephan Büttner (Photo: AGRANA)

In the first quarter of the 2024/25 financial year (the three months ended 31 May 2024), AGRANA, the fruit, starch and sugar company, generated operating profit (EBIT) of € 32.3 million, a significant reduction of 49.1 % from the first quarter of the prior year. Revenue eased slightly, by 2.3 %, to € 944.3 million. “After the robust results of the full year 2023/24, as expected we had a weaker start to the 2024/25 financial year. The significant decline in profit resulted from the highly challenging market environment in the Sugar and Starch segments, where sales prices fell. Business in the Fruit segment was better, leading to a significant increase in Fruit EBIT,” says AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Stephan Büttner.

Results in each business segment for the first quarter of 2024/25

FRUIT segment

The Fruit segment’s revenue in the first quarter was € 415.6 million, up 3.6% from the same period one year earlier. The increase occurred both in the fruit preparations and fruit juice concentrate businesses and resulted from volume growth.

EBIT of the segment as a whole grew to € 27.0 million in the first three months of the financial year (Q1 prior year: € 24.4 million). In the fruit preparations activities, EBIT was significantly above the year-ago level. The improvement was attributable partly to a positive business performance in the Europe region (including Ukraine) and in Mexico.

STARCH segment

Revenue in the Starch segment in the first quarter was € 265.5 million, a reduction of 16.3% from the year-earlier comparative period (Q1 prior year: € 317.1 million), when the war in Ukraine had led to powerful increases in market prices. Owing to the decline in raw material and energy prices, market prices for the segment’s products decreased noticeably year-on- year, which impacted the selling prices obtained for the entire Starch portfolio. Ethanol sales prices, for instance, fell by about 25 % amid a substantial drop in Platts quotations.

At € 9.4 million, EBIT in the Starch segment was down very significantly year-on-year. A key reason for this was the margin decline in starch and saccharification products driven by significantly lower sales prices for core and by-products.

SUGAR segment

Sugar segment revenue was € 263.2 million, up 6.2 % from the first quarter of the previous year. The negative effect of lower sugar sales prices was more than made up for by higher sales volumes. The trajectory of the sugar market was most recently driven by the sugar imports from Ukraine and the expectation of increased EU sugar production in the 2024/25 campaign.

The Sugar EBIT result in the financial first quarter was a deficit of € 4.1 million, a pronounced deterioration from the year-earlier period. This reflected especially the significant fall in sugar selling prices, which was steepest in the regions heavily affected by the imports of Ukrainian sugar.

Outlook

For the full 2024/25 financial year, AGRANA expects a significant reduction in operating profit (EBIT) compared to the previous year. Group revenue is projected to show a moderate decrease.

Total investment across the three business segments in the 2024/25 financial year, at approximately € 120 million, is to be moderately below the 2023/24 value and in line with budgeted depreciation. About 12 % of this capital expenditure will be for emission reduction measures in the Group’s own production operations under the AGRANA climate strategy.

According to market insights provided by Fact.MR, a renowned market research and competitive intelligence provider, the global apple juice concentrate market is anticipated to reach a valuation of USD 4.67 billion in 2024. The market is poised to witness a steady growth with a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.5 % between 2024 and 2034.

Apple juice concentrates, known for their versatility, have become a prevalent ingredient in a wide range of food and beverage products. The rising consumer inclination towards natural and healthier beverage options is fueling a robust demand for apple juice concentrates on a global scale. Noteworthy within the market is the ongoing trend of continuous product innovation. Leading manufacturers are actively engaged in developing organic and non-GMO variations of apple juice concentrates. Additionally, they are exploring novel flavors and blends to cater to the diverse preferences of consumers.

The key segments highlighted in the Apple Juice Concentrate Industry Research Report include growing consumer awareness and an increasing demand for clean-label products. Manufacturers are responding to these trends by placing a strong emphasis on environmentally friendly and transparent supply chain practices in the production of apple juice concentrates. This reflects a broader industry commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing.

Key takeaways from market study

  • The global apple juice concentrate market is forecasted to reach USD 8.01 billion by the end of 2034.
  • Apple juice concentrate sales in the United States are predicted to rise at a CAGR of 4.9 % from 2024 to 2034.
  • Preference for organic products and a rich culinary culture is generating lucrative opportunities for apple juice concentrate producers in Germany.
  • Demand for apple juice concentrates in Japan is estimated at a market value of USD 120.6 million in 2024.
  • Organic apple juice concentrate sales are projected to reach USD 3.06 billion by the end of 2034.

“Rising trend of healthy food habits is boosting the demand for apple juice concentrates as natural and nutritious food ingredients,” says a Fact.MR analyst.

Winning strategy

Leading apple juice concentrate companies are focusing on continuous product innovations and forming strategic alliances to stay competitive. Product differentiation, sustainable practices, and agility in responding to market trends are key factors shaping market competition.

The landscape of the apple juice concentrate industry is marked by a diverse array of participants vying for substantial market shares and consumer attention. This includes not only prominent multinational corporations but also regional producers.

Established brands with a rich history command a strong presence in the market. Their enduring reputation, expansive distribution networks, and dedicated consumer following contribute to a competitive advantage and significant revenue streams.

In 2019, Coca-Cola India, a subsidiary of the renowned beverage conglomerate Coca-Cola, introduced a groundbreaking beverage product called Minute Made Apple Sparkle. This innovative addition was meticulously crafted using the finest Kashmiri apples and fell under the overarching brand name Minute Maid.

Key manufacturers of apple juice concentrate are Juice Generation, Hain Celestial, CEDAR Juice, Juice Warrior, Rauch Fruit Juice, Tree Top, and Huiyuan Juice.

Many German consumers highly value product quality and authenticity, creating an opportunity for apple juice concentrate producers to cater to this preference. By emphasizing premium quality and transparent sourcing practices, producers can tap into the demand of a consumer base that appreciates genuine and traditional appeal.

In Germany, the environmentally conscious consumer demographic actively seeks products with sustainable and eco-friendly production practices. The trend towards sustainability is particularly evident in the rising demand for organic apple juice concentrate products. Producers meeting this preference for organic options are not only aligning with consumer values but also securing substantial profit shares in the German market.

In the United States, an increasing awareness of health and wellness is fueling a demand for natural and healthier beverage choices. Apple juice concentrates, being versatile and widely used ingredients, align with consumers’ preferences for nutritious options.

The adaptability of apple juice concentrates in various food and beverage applications is another factor contributing to their steady demand. These concentrates serve as sweetening agents, extracts, flavor enhancers, and base ingredients in a wide range of products, including juices, sauces, and bakery items.

The higher demand for orange juice from the United States raised the Brazilian exports of the commodity in the first two months of the 2023/24 exporting season (July and August). The average price paid for the national juice increased in that period too, influenced by low inventories and the lower output in Brazil. The higher volume exported and the valuation of the Brazilian juice abroad resulted in a significant increase in the revenue of exporters.

According to data from Secex (Foreign Trade Secretariat), Brazil exported 182.9 thousand tons of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent in July and August, 4% more than the volume shipped in the same period of 2022. Revenue totaled USD 397.9 million, a staggering 20% up in the same comparison.

As for the types of juice exported, shipments of Not-From-Concentrate (NFC) orange juice increased 19 %, and revenue, 25 %; of FCOJ, the volume exported decreased 3 %, while the revenue rose 17 %. The different performances of the exports of these types of juice are linked to the higher demand from the US for NFC juice, whose volume sent to the North-American country rose a staggering 51 %.

The United States

For one more season, the US have been importing orange juice from Brazil. In the first two months of the current season (23/24), the US imported 50.5 thousand tons of FCOJ, an increase of 38 % compared to that in the same period of 2022/23. Revenue totaled USD 113.2 million, 57 % higher, in the same comparison.

Lower orange production in the US because of the 2022/23 crop of Florida – which has decreased 62 %, according to the USDA – and lower supply from Mexico, the second major supplier of orange juice to the US, led the country to raise imports from Brazil.

European Union

To the European Union, Brazil exported, in July and August, 112.6 thousand tons of orange juice, a slight 3 % up from that last season. Revenue totaled USD 241.9 million in the two first months of the season, 14 % higher, in the same comparison.

Crop Estimates

According to data released this week by Fundecitrus, the 2023/24 harvest in the citrus belt (São Paulo State + the Triângulo Mineiro) is expected at 309.34 million boxes of 40.8-kg each, stable compared to that estimated in May but 1.5 % lower than the output from last season. It is important to highlight that this volume is a lot lower than the industry’s needs to meet the demand from abroad and replenish inventories, which are currently very low.

The Brazilian exports of orange juice increased in the 2022/23 season (July/22 – June/23), after fading for two consecutive seasons. According to data from Secex, Brazil exported 1.09 million tons of the product (Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice FCOJ Equivalent) in the 22/23 crop, 9 % up the volume shipped in the previous season. The revenue received from these shipments totaled USD 2.1 billion, a staggering 28 % up, in the same comparison.

Although the consumption of orange juice is not increasing in the major destinations of the Brazilian product – and despite the low national inventories –, the United States had higher import needs in the last years, due to the steep production decrease in Florida – mainly in the current season, 2022/23 –, which had been facing the effects of greening and was hit by hurricanes late last year.

According to Secex, the Brazilian exports of orange juice to the US have increased high this season, totaling 340.9 thousand tons, 69 % higher than the volume shipped in 2021/22. Revenue totaled USD 701.9 million, a staggering 93 % up, in the same comparison. As production is not expected to rise high in Florida in the short term, the US may continue with high imports needs, and Brazil is the number one supplier of orange juice in the world.

In a report released in June, Florida Citrus Department confirmed higher imports to the US: between Oct/22 and Apr/23, the country doubled the volume of FCOJ imported from Brazil compared to that in the previous season; of NFC (Not-From-Concentrate) orange juice, shipments rose 82 %.

EUROPEAN UNION – To the European Union, the number one destination of the Brazilian orange juice, exports totaled 569.6 thousand tons in the 2022/23 season, 8 % less than that shipped in the previous season. Revenue totaled USD 1.13 billion, 9 % up, in the same comparison.

The Brazilian exports of orange juice are on the rise in the current season (2022/23). According to data from Secex (Foreign Trade Secretariat), between July/22 and Feb/23, Brazil exported 776.3 thousand tons of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent, 14 % more than that shipped in the same period of the previous season. Revenue totaled USD 1.5 billion, 34 % higher, in the same comparison.

The higher increase in the revenue than in the volume exported highlights the higher average price paid for the commodity exported by Brazil. Data from Secex show that the quotations for the national FCOJ Equivalent rose 22 % between the last and the current seasons, and for Not-From-Concentrate juice, 7 %.

Exports to the European Union, the number one destination for the Brazilian orange juice, have decreased 2 % this season, while revenue has increased 16 % because of the recent valuations.

To the United States, exports are on the rise. In the current season, 240 thousand tons of the product have been shipped to this destination, a staggering 82 % up from that last season. Revenue more than doubled (+ 110 %), totaling USD 478.7 million. With shipments to the EU being stable and the increase to the USA, the share of the Brazilian juice in the total imported by the USA rose from 19 % in 2021/22 to 31 % in 2022/23.

It is important to mention that America’s high demand for the Brazilian juice is linked to the fact that the 2022/23 orange season in Florida has been compromised by the high incidence of greening and natural disasters, such as hurricanes and frosts.

The ending stocks of orange juice ended the 2021/22 season at low levels (on June 30th, 2022), according to data released this week by CitrusBR. And even if orange production increases in the 2022/23 season, the volume of juice stocked by the end of the crop is not expected to be high.

According to CitrusBR, the ending stocks of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent totaled 143.1 thousand tons at the end of the 2021/22 season, almost 55 % lower than that in the previous crop and below the strategic level (250 thousand tons).

CitrusBR estimates juice stocks to total 140 thousand tons by the end of the 2022/23 crop, in June 2023. Despite the increase in the number of oranges allocated to the production of juice, industrial yield is expected to be lower than that last season – it is important to consider that, in the 2021/22 crop, rainfall was not that frequent, which favoured yield.

According to CitrusBR, the Brazilian exports of orange juice to the United States may increase, due to the low orange production in Florida, which is keeping low the American stocks of juice.

This scenario confirms the high industrial demand for oranges in the current season (2022/23). However, next season, the demand from juice processors is expected to continue high – to replenish stocks, at least partially. Thus, juice prices are on the rise abroad.

Cepea estimates that, for the volume stocked by the end of the 2023/24 season (in June 2024) to return to the strategic level of 250 thousand tons, orange processing during that season needs to be around 300 million boxes of 40.8 kilograms, which accounts for an output of 340 million boxes in São Paulo State + the Triângulo Mineiro. This calculation considers stable juice sales, of a million tons, and the average yield of the five previous crops.

However, since the beginning of Fundecitrus surveys, in 2015/16, orange production has surpassed 340 million boxes in only two seasons: 2017/18 and 2019/20. Since then, the area with orange groves has shrunk. On the other hand, groves were renewed in that period, which tends to favour productivity and production.

In late February, the large-sized processors in São Paulo made their first purchase proposals for the oranges from the 2022/23 crop. Of the three companies in the state, two of them are interested in closing deals, bidding from BRL 30 – BRL 32.00 per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered. The third processing plant was only renewing existing contracts. However, the number of deals closed is still low, since farmers expect prices to rise higher, due to both firm demand from the industry and, largely, higher production costs.

Indeed, data recently released by CitrusBR show that the volume of orange juice stocked by the end of the current season (in June 2022) will not be enough to supply the international market until the middle of next season. According to CitrusBR, ending stocks of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent in the 2021/22 season are expected to total 126.574 thousand tons – possibly ranging between 115 and 135 thousand tons. It is important to mention that previous estimates (from September 2021) pointed to stocks between 170 and 190 thousand tons, but bad weather conditions (drought and frosts) reduced processing and hampered fruits development and ripening (influencing industrial yield).

If CitrusBR’s forecasts are confirmed, the volume stocked is expected to be much lower than the strategic level, of 250 thousand tons, scenario that may be observed at least until the end of the 2022/23 season (in June 2023) if the number of oranges produced is not high.

Cepea calculations show that, for stocks to surpass the strategic level by the end of next season, the number of boxes harvested in the citrus belt in São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro needs to be over 340 million – and of this total, 300 million need to be allocated to the industry. For these results were considered sales of a million tons (slightly lower than the average) and the average industrial yield of the past five crops.

Although it seems juice supply in Brazil will be tight for at least one more season, agents from processors have not reported any significant valuations for the commodity yet. This would be the major reason why bids for the new season have not been higher. On Feb. 23, the May contract at ICE Futures closed at USD 1,993/ton, 2 % down from that on December 30. However, it is important to mention that values at ICE Futures do not reflect real sales prices of processing plants.

One of the facts that may be constraining juice valuations abroad is the fear of bottling plants as for the negative effects of higher prices in Brazil. In the major destinations for the Brazilian orange juice, the United States and the European Union, demand for the product has been fading for some years, majorly because of the wide variety of other beverages, such as flavoured water, energy drinks and other types of juice, for instance.

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.

Premium fruit and vegetable ingredients supplier, SVZ, is pleased to announce its new brand tagline, ‘Growing better together’. Accurately demonstrating the business’ sustainable, collaborative values, the tagline also indicates SVZ’s continuing commitment to growing a better, greener world together with its customers and partners.

SVZ is passionate about collaborating with its partners, customers, farmers and suppliers to provide the very best fruit and vegetable purees, concentrates and NFC juices all year round. To further demonstrate the importance of trust, connection and partnerships across the entire supply chain, SVZ’s ‘Growing better together’ slogan represents everything the company stands for in working towards a healthier world for future generations.

SVZ has also refreshed its website to display these collaborative, future-focused values. Easy to navigate and with a refreshed design, the platform reflects the company’s growing better together ideals as it promotes a smoother transaction from concept to consumer.

Pieter Spanjers, CEO, SVZ comments: “At SVZ, ‘growing better together’ is what we do best. From our own employees to our farmers and customers, we’re delighted to work in such close collaboration. It’s only by strengthening these connections that we can create the highest-quality, tastiest fruit and vegetable ingredients.

Take our product development programme, for example, which is based on the latest trends and consumer needs. The ingredients we create are tailored to our customers’ requirements, and it’s only by working closely with our partner farmers that we can ensure that their needs are met with a great taste and high nutritional value. Plus, our connection with growers also means that we can guarantee sustainability credentials in our ingredients, through initiatives like a reduction in pesticides and water usage.

Our new website, which has been built to enhance the user experience, will be a key tool for close collaboration with various stakeholders and we look forward to growing together with our partners on the platform. We work on a global scale with our customers, suppliers and employees of Cosun and SVZ to co-create sustainably sourced ingredients that will appeal to consumers worldwide. Together, we can build a future-proof supply chain for our children and future generations and, ultimately, grow better together.”

For more information please visit: www.svz.com

The return of rains to important citrus-producing regions in São Paulo State (SP) cheered up farmers about flower development. However, it is still early to estimate results for the 2022/23 season, since the set of fruitlets will depend on the weather along October and more flowers may open until the end of the month.

According to data from Inmet (National Institute of Meteorology), rainfall is expected to average 50 mm in most citrus-producing regions in October.

ORANGE MARKET – The trading pace for oranges was slow in the Brazilian market in the first fortnight of October because of the holiday on the 12th. Higher rainfall is expected to improve the quality of the fruits on tree, although they have not reached the ideal standard to be sold yet. This scenario added to low supply pushed up orange prices in that period.

TAHITI LIME – In the market of tahiti lime, prices faded in the first half of October, reflecting the small size of the fruits available, which is not appreciated in the in natura market. In the second week of the month, values increased slightly, influenced by higher demand during the holiday (on the 12th), which surprised farmers.

ORANGE JUICE EXPORTS – The Brazilian exports of orange juice are on the rise in the current season (2021/22). According to data from Secex (Foreign Trade Secretariat), between July and September, Brazil exported 278.9 thousand tons of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent to all destinations, 19 % up from that in the same period last season. Revenue increased more sharply, by 32 %, reflecting the higher prices paid for the product, totaling USD 440.8 million. Of the total volume shipped this season, 20 % were sent to the United States – the volume exported to the USA has increased by 33 %, and the revenue received from the country, by 51 %.

VOG Products: 2021 harvest promises top organic qualitySponsored Post – The fruit processing company VOG Products is the world’s largest producer of organic apple juice, concentrate and purée at one location. This year’s harvest in South Tyrol and Trentino provides outstanding conditions for premium quality and high-value products.

The Trentino-South Tyrol region on the southern side of the Alps looks back at a long tradition of fruit cultivation. With 300 sunny days per year and cool nights, the climate there is ideal. This is reflected in the taste and aroma of the fruit that VOG Products processes and refines.

2021 has proven to be an excellent year for apple quality in South Tyrol and Trentino. The weather conditions are currently optimal for the harvest. During the day, the sun shines down on the apple fields and the cool nights ensure that the colour will be intense. The Gala apples harvested this year are a brilliant red colour that is seldom seen – even the apples from areas where colouring does not easily develop are bright red.

VOG Products, the modern fruit processing company headquartered in Laives, belongs to 4 producers’ organisations from South Tyrol and Trentino and 18 cooperatives from South Tyrol with more than 10,000 members. Most of them are small family operations that care for their apple orchards with love and devotion.

Pioneer in Europe

VOG Products: 2021 harvest promises top organic quality
Martin Bristot (Photo: VOG Products)

Agriculture is acknowledged for its great importance throughout the region. After all, dealing with land and its resources respectfully is firmly embedded in the culture there. In this spirit, sustainable production is a matter of course for local fruit growers, many of whom have embraced organic cultivation. “Biosüdtirol and Bio Vinschgau have now become the largest organic producers in Europe,” explained Senior Key Account Manager Martin Bristot, who is responsible for the organic sector at VOG Products.

Organic apples now make up around 10 % of the total harvest in South Tyrol. Despite frosty nights in the spring, the official harvest forecasts indicate that the organic proportion in South Tyrol will remain constant in 2021. As compared to the previous year, in Trentino organically cultivated apples should record growth of around 20 %.

The figures show a trend: in three years, the quantity of organic raw goods delivered to VOG Products has more than trebled. As a result, the fruit processing company from Laives is now the world’s largest producer of organic apple juice, concentrate and purée at one location. VOG Products continues to source its organic goods exclusively from its members’ members: the around 10,000 farmers from the growing area.

Bioland: a guarantee of quality

Top conditions at the location, tightly meshed quality control and traceability back to the farmers are particularly valuable in the organic sector. But VOG Products goes a step farther. “VOG Products is Bioland-certified or rather, a portion of our suppliers provide Bioland goods,” said Bristot. The seal has more stringent guidelines than those laid down in the EU regulation on organic production. “In Germany, the most important market for apple juice, the organic niche is growing: the quantities demanded are increasing significantly,” Bristot added.

“In combination with South Tyrol as the region of origin, these quality aspects are important for many purchasers and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have become even more important.”

Renowned companies in food retailing have also recognised the potential and are jumping onto the organic bandwagon. “They aim to convert a certain percentage of their assortment from conventional to organic. We are primarily observing the trend in Germany, but France, Austria and the Scandinavian countries are all following suit,” explained Bristot. “That is giving the saleable quantities of direct apple juice an enormous boost.” But in the affluent exotic markets in Asia and the US as well, consumers are very aware of organic quality.

Valrhona cooperated with Koa to create Oabika, the new cocoa fruit juice concentrate for chefs and other gastronomy professionals. The flavourful ingredient delivers a new experience with a smooth texture and a unique taste. Oabika is an impactful innovation for the gastronomy with a sustainable vision.

After several months of research and development, Oabika was born. French premium chocolate manufacturer Valrhona has launched the new cocoa fruit ingredient in cooperation with Swiss-Ghanaian start-up Koa. Oabika is the very first cocoa fruit juice concentrate at 72° Brix* created especially for the food service. It has the highest concentration on the food service market providing a silky consistency and an amber-coloured appearance. Besides its fruity and tangy flavour, Oabika surprises through its candied, honey-like notes.

Frédéric Bau, pastry explorer at Maison Valrhona, and Victor Delpierre, drink expert and gastronomy consultant, describe Oabika as a “complete and playful experience.” They both state that “Oabika is a magical ingredient that highlights, enhances and balances tastes. It represents an exceptional moment in time, deliciously refreshing, which takes you on a journey deep inside the pod to the heart of a cocoa plantation.”

After Koa’s success with their cocoa fruit juice and dried cocoa fruit, the new concentrate elaborated by Valrhona together with Koa is an innovation that complements the range of cocoa fruit ingredients. Oabika offers a multitude of applications such as ganache, jellies, mousses, toppings, sauces, glazes, creams, ice creams, sorbets, or drinks. Whether it’s to create new flavour experiences or to demonstrate what sustainable value creation in the cocoa-growing countries really means.

Upcycling the cocoa fruit to increase farmers’ income

The availability of cocoa fruit concentrate for chefs and other gastronomy professionals signifies a milestone for the cocoa fruit valorisation and the cocoa farmers. As the demand for cocoa fruit ingredients grows rapidly, the chances to create a positive impact in the cocoa-growing countries increases at the same time. Until recently, the pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans couldn’t be processed in cocoa-growing countries due to a lack of infrastructure and technology. In conventional cocoa processing, only a small part of the white pulp was used for fermentation, the rest was lost. Koa has found an innovative way to gently process the cocoa fruit in close cooperation with 1,600 smallholders. “As we make use of the cocoa pulp, we provide smallholders with an additional income and at the same time, we create jobs for the young population in rural Ghana,” Daniel Otu, Operations Director at Koa in Ghana, explains.

For Koa, the cooperation with Valrhona is a success. Co-Founder and Managing Director Anian Schreiber emphasises: “As a start-up, we’re proud to be cooperating with a highly reputable and well-established chocolate brand as Valrhona who shares our mission of taking responsibility in cocoa-growing countries to the next level. With the launch of Oabika, we demonstrate how indulgence and responsibility for people and planet go hand in hand. We encourage others to seek such partnerships to tackle some of the food system’s most pressing challenges together.”

Oabika has been launched worldwide in September 2021 including Europe, Asia, USA and Middle East.

*The Brix scale is used to measure the fraction of sucrose in a liquid in degrees Brix, meaning the percentage of soluble, dry matter. The higher the degree Brix, the sweeter the sample, with more concentrated flavours.

By the end of the 2020/21 season, in June 2021, the inventories of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) equivalent at Brazilian processors totaled 316.93 thousand tons, according to data from CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters) released in mid-August. Compared to that at the end of the 2019/20 season, inventories decreased by 33 %. This reduction was already expected by agents, due to the slower crushing pace of oranges in 2020/21, when orange production was low.

CitrusBR avoided releasing estimates for the current season because of the weather issues (extended drought in the citrus belt and frosts in late July) in the major citrus-producing regions in Brazil, which are still concerning agents. However, ending stocks in the 2021/22 season (by June 2022) may be lower than the strategic level.

So far, considering Fundecitrus’ (Citrus Defense Fund) production estimates from May, of 294 million boxes (40.8 kilograms each), the volume processed may be around 250 million boxes. In that scenario, Cepea data indicate that ending stocks in the 2021/22 season (which ends in June/22) may not be enough to generate a world surplus of orange juice.

Also, agents in the Brazilian citrus sector believe that the estimates from Fundecitrus will be revised down, due to the drought and frosts in Brazil. In this context, the volume processed may be revised too, and juice inventories may be even lower. Thus, processors will depend on higher orange production in 2022/23 to, at least, replenish inventories – which is a concern too, considering that the effects of the weather may be extended to the coming season, since many trees are currently debilitated.

As regards orange processing, the crushing pace for the fruits from 2021/22 was fast in August at the large-sized plants in São Paulo State (SP), with mostly pear oranges being crushed.

Orange processing is expected to last until mid-February/March 2022, with less plants in activity compared to that in the second semester of 2021, however, with higher volumes being produced than that in the same period of previous years, because of the delay in the development of trees (due to weather issues) and irregular flowering. It is worth to consider that the 2021/22 season is expected to have higher volumes of fruits from the third and fourth flowering events (altogether) since Fundecitrus began estimating crops, in 2015/16 – making it a late crop.

BRAZILIAN MARKET IN AUGUST – The demand for oranges was low in the Brazilian market in August, constrained by the current high price levels and lower quality of the oranges available (small-sized and wilted). Still, prices increased, boosted by low supply.

With the anticipation of the drought and rainfall below the average in the first quarter of 2021 in São Paulo (SP), the development of the oranges from the 2021/22 season is below the expected, majorly in non-irrigated groves. At the current stage of groves development (fruit enlargement), moisture is crucial, which is warning farmers about the volume to be harvested this season.

So far, it is believed that production will be small, but larger than that in the 2020/21 season (due to the weather in the second semester of 2020 and its effects on flowering and settlement).

Besides the number of fruits, which is not forecast to be high, citrus farmers have been concerned about quality issues that may occur because of low moisture. The top complaints are related to size (since fruits may take longer to reach the ideal size) and wilted oranges (riper fruits), largely pear and early oranges. On the other hand, until the end of April, fruit drop, which may also be worsened by the lack of rain, was not significant, according to farmers.

In order to avoid higher quality loss, some farmers may accelerate the harvesting, even if the oranges have not reached the ideal size and ripening, which may hamper sales and constrain price rises.

INDUSTRIAL YIELD – On the other hand, industrial yield may be favored by the lack of rainfall in citrus-producing regions, since less boxes of oranges may be necessary to produce a ton of concentrated juice.

The Bevolution® Group portfolio just got juicier. The B2B foodservice beverage manufacture is adding not-from-concentrate (NFC) juices to its already robust portfolio that spans from juices and lemonades to smoothie and cocktail mixers, even functional refreshers and add-ins.

Now, new Lemon NFC, Lime NFC, and Pomelo NFC juices join Bevolution’s premium Tropics® brand.

Quality is the defining characteristic of NFC juices. There are no additives or compromising preservatives, just a single ingredient picked peak of season. The delivered product is as fresh as if squeezed that day, naturally rich in colour, flavour, and aroma. It’s a simple but important difference that a chef or mixologist worth her salt will appreciate.

Ease of use and consistency are added benefits of choosing a single-strength juice. One bottle of Tropics 100 % Lime Juice NFC yields as much as 41 hand-squeezed limes without the prep. It can streamline operations and elevate a recipe, providing a key route to efficiency and premiumisation. Use back of the house or front, from cooking and baking to beverage. Whether making a marinade, cheesecake, or signature cocktail, Tropics brings stunning quality and reliable consistency within reach.

That’s because the premium Tropics brand sources from the world’s best growing regions. For example, Tropics 100 % Lemon Juice NFC is made with Spanish lemons selected for their multi-dimensional flavour. Lime and pomelo varieties are equally appealing, respectively sourced from Mexico and the Texas Rio Grande Valley.

“It’s all about taste,” says Head of Sales Robert Corlett. “Quality, great-tasting products with broad application – like our new all-natural NFC juices – bring value to the front of the house as well as the back. That’s when you offer more than a product. You offer a total solution.”

Lightly pasteurised and cold-filled into HDPE containers, Tropics’ new clean label NFC juices are packed in 6-61.5 fl. oz. cases and promptly flash frozen. Product is available for sale immediately. 100 % Orange Juice NFC will join the line later in 2021.

About Bevolution Group
Bevolution® Group is a leading manufacturer of foodservice and specialty coffee beverages. The B2B company offers a versatile portfolio of innovative, high-quality beverage solutions from brands like Tropics®, Dr. Smoothie®, Lemon-X®, and Refrasia®. Bevolution Group additionally offers customized product development and manufacturing capabilities. Markets serviced include restaurants and bars, hotels, healthcare organizations, cafés and coffeehouses, convenience stores, casinos, education campuses, and military facilities across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Production facilities are located in Chicago, Frostproof, FL, and Fullerton, CA.

The Brazilian exports of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) equivalent are currently 17 % lower than that in the previous season, according to Secex. Between July 2020 and February 2021 (2020/21 season), shipments totaled 670.7 thousand tons. Revenue from these exports totaled 985.19 million USD, 27 % down from that in the same period last season.

Among the major purchasers of the Brazilian juice, the European Union was the one that most reduced purchases. From July/20 to Feb/21, shipments to the EU totaled 419.7 thousand tons, 22 % down from that in the previous season. Revenue totaled 626.44 million USD, 32 % down in the same comparison.

Exports to the United States have been more stable, totaling 135.83 thousand tons, very similar to that from the previous season. Revenue totaled 201.62 million USD, 8 % down in the period.

The Brazilian orange crop for Marketing Year (MY) 2020/21 is forecast at 415 million 40.8-kg boxes (MBx), equal to 16.93 million metric tons (mmt), an increase of 14 percent relative to the current season. The forecast assumes normal weather conditions will prevail as of mid-December 2020 to support fruit setting and development of the second blossoming in the Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais commercial citrus belt. The current orange crop estimate in the Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais citrus belt was revised downward from 287.8 to 269.4 MBx (11.74 mmt to 10.99 mmt) as a consequence of the lack of rain fall and high temperatures between September and October. Total Brazilian FCOJ 65 Brix equivalent exports for MY 2020/21 are forecast at 1.08 mmt, similar to revised figure for MY 2019/20

Please download the full citrus crop production forecast: www.nass.usda.gov

Orange prices have been on the rise in the Brazilian in natura market this month – the upward trend of quotes has been observed since July. Although the share of late varieties is increasing in the in natura market, in general, supply is low, while consumption is increasing sharply, due to the current high temperatures in Brazil.

Between October 1st and 15th, the average price for pear oranges was 36.52 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 14.7 % higher than that in the first fortnight of September.

Low supply, mainly of high-quality oranges, is expected to keep prices on the rise in Brazil in the coming weeks. Besides, estimates for a 26 % decrease in the output of the 2020/21 crop should be revised, due to the drought and high temperatures in São Paulo State, which should reduce even more the volume harvested compared to the official estimates.

Data released in early October by the ABCM (Brazilian Association of In Natura Citrus) indicate that the 2020/21 citrus crops in São Paulo and in Minas Gerais States are, indeed, going to be lower. The drought faced by the sector in the major producing months hampered the development of fruits, which are small-sized. ABCM reported that, soon, the retail market and distributors may have lower supply of in natura citrus – or even a lack of products.

ABCM entrenches that the high temperatures and low rains between July and August damaged the fruits from the second flowering in the 2020/21 crop, which accounted for most of the output. In this scenario, agents believe that Fudencitrus’ next estimates, forecast to be released in December, may be revised down.

ORANGE JUICE – The 2020/21 orange crop in Florida was damaged by the hot and dry weather, which constrained groves’ productivity. Thus, the American orange output should be lower, which may lead the country to import higher amounts of orange juice. This scenario may favor the Brazilian sector, since Brazil is the top supplier of orange juice to the United States.

Between Oct/19 and Jul/20 (2019/20 season), the USA imported lower volumes of orange juice: 38 % of concentrated juice and 39.5 % of fresh juice, compared to that in the previous season, according to the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC).

Although the Brazilian juice is losing market share to that from Mexico, the orange harvest from Mexico in the 2019/20 season (Nov/19 to Oct/20) decreased sharply, which may constrain juice production. According to the USDA, the Mexican supply should be 45 % lower than that in the previous season, and orange juice production, 60 % lower. Although initial inventories are high, juice supply should be 50 % lower.

However, it is worth to mention that the crops from São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro should also be lower in 2020/21. According to a report from Fundecitrus released last month, the harvest in the Brazilian citrus belt should total 286.72 million boxes, 26 % down compared to that in the previous season. This volume may decrease even more because of the drought in this region in the past months, which may even reduce supply in the 2021/22 season.

Orange juice inventories ended the 2019-20 season (on June 30, 2020) on the rise, as already expected by agents from the Brazilian citrus market. According to CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters), the volume stocked by then totaled 471.138 thousand tons, a staggering 86 % up compared to that in the previous season, due to the higher orange production.

However, although the 2020-21 crop started with high volumes stocked, production is forecast to be low in São Paulo State and the Triângulo Mineiro, which is keeping firm the demand from processors for oranges. This scenario should lower inventories by the end of the current crop.

A report released by Citrus BR in late August estimates that, on June 30 2021, the inventories of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent from the 20-21 crop will total from 240 to 280 thousand tons, 49 % down compared to that in the previous season.

These estimates consider that around 238 million boxes of 40.8 kilos of oranges will be processed (with 50 million boxes left to be sold in the in natura market), average yield of 268 boxes to produce a ton of FCOJ Equivalent and stable sales, at 1.15 million tons. These results are similar to that estimated by Cepea in May, at 250 thousand tons. It is worth to mention that both estimates (from CitrusBR and Cepea) take into consideration the fact that there may be adjustments in industrial yield, due to the multiple flowerings registered in 2020-21.

According to agents from processors, yield has been low, and much more than the 268 boxes are needed to produce a ton of juice, as estimated by CitrusBR. Although this number tends to decrease along the season, it is concerning, since the prices paid for the fruits have been higher this season, meaning that remuneration for lower quality oranges is currently higher. In this scenario, the only processors that has been purchasing oranges in the Brazilian spot market is bidding prices according to yield: when more than 290 boxes are needed for a ton of juice, prices average 21.60 BRL/box, while for the fruits with higher yield, prices reach 24.00 BRL/box.

BRAZILIAN MARKET IN AUGUST – Despite the weak demand, due to the colder weather, orange prices remained firm in August, underpinned by the lower supply of higher quality fruits in the in natura market. Besides, the fast crushing pace at the large-sized processors in SP helped to reduce availability in the market. Thus, between August 1st and 31, the average price for pear oranges closed at 30.01 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 11.8 % higher than that in July.

TAHITI LIME – Tahiti lime supply was low in the Brazilian market in August, forecast to increase only from mid-September. The fruits that were on tree had not reached the ideal size and maturation to be harvested, since the weather was dry in the last months.

Thus, prices were firm last month, which limited deals in the in natura market of São Paulo State. In August, the average price for tahiti lime was 85.15 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 40 % up compared to that in July.

The 2019-20 exporting season of orange juice and citrus by-products had a good performance. This result was already expected by the agents from the sector, who were based on the higher orange supply in the citrus belt from São Paulo State, which favored inventories building up at processors. With the covid-19 pandemic, agents also reported occasional higher demand for orange juice, due to the nutritional values of the product as well as higher breakfast consumption at home.

As regards orange juice, the volume of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice Equivalent (FCOJ Equivalent) was higher, but revenue remained stable. According to data from Secex, between July/19 and June/2020, Brazil shipped 1.11 million tons of the product to all destination countries. Revenue from these shipments totaled 1.8 billion USD, stable compared to that in the previous season. In Real, revenue totaled 8.09 billion (boosted by the strong dollar), 16 % higher than that received in the 2018-19 season.

Despite the good exports performance to the European Union, the major purchaser of the Brazilian orange juice, shipments to the United States decreased, ending the season with an 11 % lower volume (174.76 thousand tons) and a 19 % lower revenue (276.93 million USD). Brazilian exports to the EU totaled 768.15 thousand tons, 20 % up compared to that in the previous season. Revenue totaled 1.26 billion USD, 7 % up in the same comparison.

As for the Brazilian exports of citrus by-products, revenue in dollar dropped during the season, totaling 369.43 million USD, 25 % lower than that received in 2018-19, according to Secex,. Among the products exported are citrus pulp pellets, citrus terpenes, d-limonene and lemon, lime and orange essential oils. Except for the citrus pulp pellets, prices for all the other by-products dropped sharply during the season.

For citrus pulp pellets, the average exports price increased during the season, but the volume shipped decreased. According to Cepea collaborators, this may be linked to the recent price rises for corn and soybean in the Brazilian market, which boosted the demand, primarily from livestock farmers, for citrus pulp pellets.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – Tahiti lime supply has been low in the major citrus-producing regions in São Paulo State. In this scenario, prices skyrocketed in June, hitting the highest average for the month, in nominal terms, in all Cepea series.

In general, tahiti lime quotes have been on the rise in the in natura market since April, due to the sales increase – related to the covid-19 pandemic – and the slower harvesting pace in May and in June – growers decided to control the harvesting in order to keep prices at higher levels. Thus, in late June, prices rose up to 60.00 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, averaging 32.42 BRL/box in the month, more than two-fold that registered in June 2019 (+124 %).

JULY – In the first fortnight of July, lower supply continued to push up prices in the Brazilian market. In general, quality was considered satisfactory, as well as fruits size and color, which favored exports. It is worth to mention that, in the first semester of 2020, the Brazilian shipments of lemon and lime hit a record for the period – compared to that in the same period last year, the volume exported was 12 % higher, and revenue, 7 % higher.

Between July 1st and 15, the average price for tathiti lime was 52.19 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 59.6 % up compared to that in the first half of June. On the other hand, the demand from the industry continued low, with only two small-sized processors receiving tahiti lime (in Artur Nogueira and Itajobi, both in SP State). Remuneration varied according to quality, ranging from 12 to 15.00 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested and delivered to processors.

ORANGE – The trading pace for in natura oranges was faster in the Brazilian market in the first fortnight of July. Although the demand for pear oranges did not increase much – because of the social distancing advice in many cities in São Paulo State –, the volume of early oranges available in the market decreased slightly (because of purchasers’ firm stance), underpinning prices.

Between July 1st and 15, the average price for pear orange was 26.01 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 3 % up compared to that in the first half of June.

Until May, only one of the large-sized processors was crushing oranges from the 2020/21 crop in São Paulo State (in Araraquara) and in June, three more plants started activities, one in Colina and the other two in Matão.

Although there were more plants crushing oranges in June and processors had started crushing the fruits purchased through contracts, the crushing pace was still slow compared to that in previous crops, due to the crop delay in most citrus-producing regions in Brazil, except for northern São Paulo, where fruits development was more advanced.

Most processors were crushing their own fruits or those previous purchased, however, one large-sized processors was purchasing oranges in the spot market. Bidding prices for pear or early oranges were ranging from 21.60 BRL and 24.00 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered to processors, depending on fruits yield – when less than 290 boxes are needed to produce a ton of concentrate orange juice, remuneration is higher.

The volume of fruits available in the spot market this season is expected to be low, since the attractive prices paid to growers (up to 26.00 BRL/box) tend to increase the preference for purchases through contracts. It is worth to mention that, according to agents from processors, only a few growers have not traded their fruits from the 2020/21season yet.

BRAZILIAN MARKET IN JUNE – Sales were low in the in natura market in June, due to the colder weather in São Paulo. As restaurants are not working and schools are closed, the demand for larger-sized fruits was higher, resulting in a surplus of smaller-sized oranges. Although these fruits may be allocated to processors, pear oranges quotes did not rise last month. Between June 1 and 30, pear orange prices averaged 25.26 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, stable (-0.1%) compared to that in May.

As regards tahiti lime, agents reported a slight reaction in the demand in late June – both domestic and international. Besides, the harvesting pace was controlled, in order to avoid price drops. Thus, amid lower supply, prices increased in June. The average price for tahiti lime last month closed at 29.49 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 9.9% higher than that in May.

In the first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year (ended 31 May 2020), AGRANA, the fruit, starch and sugar company, achieved a slight increase in both revenue and operating profit (EBIT) despite the COVID-19 crisis. AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Johann Marihart comments: “The key factor in the solid Group EBIT was a very significant profitability improvement in the Sugar segment compared to the same quarter last year. EBIT in the Starch segment was moderately below the year-earlier level, with the decline due mainly to a short-term slump in bioethanol prices at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have since recovered again. Ethanol sales remained stable in volume terms despite the lockdown, thanks to the firm export market for bioethanol with high CO2 reductions and to the sale of 10 million litres into the disinfectant sector. In the Fruit segment, earnings were significantly below those of one year ago. Thus, the performance of the fruit juice concentrate activities was down as a result of the prior-year harvest and there were COVID-19-related decreases in the fruit preparations business.”

Results in each business segment in Q1 2020|21

FRUIT segment

Revenue in the Fruit segment, at € 303.7 million, was off slightly from one year earlier. Revenue from fruit preparations fell somewhat, as a result of lower sales volumes. In the fruit juice concentrate business as well, volumes were the reason for a moderate revenue decline relative to a year ago. EBIT in the Fruit segment was € 16.0 million in the first three months, a reduction of 26.6 % year-on-year. The causes of the deterioration lay primarily in the fruit juice concentrate business, which notably saw reduced delivery volumes in combination with lower contribution margins of apple juice concentrates produced from the 2019 crop.

STARCH segment

The Starch segment’s revenue of CHF 204.4 million was slightly below the year-earlier level. The COVID-19 crisis had a negative impact on sales volumes of saccharification products, and initially also led to a drastic fall in bioethanol prices amid the lockdown and the sharp drop in demand for petrol. However, over the rest of the financial first quarter, bioethanol quotations rebounded again due to the resurgence in private transport. At € 17.0 million, EBIT of the Starch segment was moderately below the year-earlier amount. In the period under review, weaker market demand dampened prices and put pressure on margins.

SUGAR segment

The Sugar segment’s revenue of € 144.5 million in the first quarter was up significantly from one year before. Both higher sugar selling prices and increased sugar sales volumes led to this growth. Although EBIT was still negative at a deficit of € 1.0 million, it marked a substantial improvement compared to the same quarter of the previous year due to a more benign sales price environment.

The detailed financial results are provided in the interim statement for the first quarter of 2020|21 at www.agrana.com/en/investor.

As orange production is higher this season (2019/20), orange juice inventories should increase again until the end of the crop. According to a report from CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters) released on February 18, ending stocks of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) equivalent should total 412.83 thousand tons at the processing plants from São Paulo by June 30, 2020. This is the highest volume registered in five seasons (since 2014/15), considering CitrusBR’s historical series.

If this volume is confirmed, it would account for a 63 % increase compared to that in the 2018/19 season (253.18 thousand tons). This scenario was already expected, since orange production in the citrus belt (São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro) increased 34.6 % between the last season and the current one, according to Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund).

Of the total volume produced, still according to CitrusBR, 59.7 million boxes (40.8-kilo box) will be allocated to the in natura market and 325.17 million, to processing. The average crop yield is estimated at 270.1 boxes for a ton of FCOJ Equivalent, and the total juice production is forecast at 1.2 million tons.

In August/19, Cepea calculations had pointed to the possibility of inventories to increase at processors to levels similar to that estimated by CitrusBR, at 400 thousand tons.

REFLEXES IN 2020/21 – Although estimates point to a recovery in the volume stocked (the last four seasons closed with lower volumes), the effects on juice inventories in 2020/21 will depend on the amount to be produced in the coming season. However, since citrus growers expect next crop to be at least 30% smaller than the 2019/20, inventories should decrease to lower levels in June/21.

If production decreases, the prices paid to growers by the industry may rise, since demand should remain firm in this segment, despite the high inventories. In the in natura market, quotes may be favored by low supply, since processors should try to purchase the largest possible amount of fruits, to prevent inventories from decreasing to critical levels in June/2021.

MARKET IN FEBRUARY – Orange consumption decreased in the in natura market in the second fortnight of February, due to the rainy weather in some regions of São Paulo State and fruits’ lower quality. However, the low supply of higher quality pear oranges underpinned prices during the month. Between February 3 and 28, pear orange prices averaged 33.06 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 8.3 % up compared to that in January.

TAHITI LIME – The harvesting pace for tahiti lime was fast in February in the major producing regions from São Paulo State. Supply, which has been increasing since December, hit its peak last month, and according to agents consulted by Cepea, it may continue high until late March.

Besides that, rains influenced the in natura market too, hampering activities in the field and lowering fruits quality. Moreover, the sales pace was slow in February, due to the carnival season in Brazil.

Thus, in February, tahiti lime quotes averaged 10.24 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, the lowest for the month since 2017, in nominal terms, and 14.9 % down compared to that in January.

Despite the higher orange supply in the 2019/20 crop, quotes for all the varieties surveyed by Cepea in São Paulo State remained firm in January – similar to the levels observed in January last year, in nominal terms.

This scenario is linked to the lower volume of early and late oranges this season – the fruitlet losses and the lower flower settlement between December/18 and January/19 are now reflecting in a lower amount of early oranges. Prices could even be at higher levels, but the high number of lower quality fruits is constraining the average prices. This scenario helps to widen the gap between quotes.

Between January 2 and 31, the average price for pera rio oranges was 30.53 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, stable (+ 0.3 %) compared to that in Jan/19, but 8.2 % higher than that in December/19, in nominal terms. For the late varieties, natal orange quotes averaged 26.99 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, 2.4 % and 8.2 % up, respectively, compared to that in Jan/19 and Dec/19, also in nominal terms. As regards valencia oranges, the average price in January was 25.47 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, stable (- 0.5 %) compared to that in January/19, but 5.1 % higher than that in December/19.

SUPPLY – In general, the low supply of pear oranges has been reported by citrus growers since late 2019, but there still are remaining volumes of late varieties (mainly natal and folha murcha) available to be harvested in February. Therefore, the low supply of high quality fruits and the high temperatures this month, which usually favor citrus consumption in São Paulo, may underpin prices.

From March onwards, according to Cepea collaborators, the first oranges among the early varieties from the 2020/21 crop should be harvested, but only in the groves where activities have advanced. According to collaborators, most part should come from northern SP, since the weather is warmer in that area, which usually fastens fruits maturation. Still, as the harvest should not be large compared to the usual demand in that period, prices may be even higher in the in natura market.

TAHITI LIME – Growing supply and medium quality influenced tahiti lime quotes in January. From Jan. 2 to 30, quotes averaged 12.04 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 28.1 % down compared to that in the same period last year and 46.9 % lower than that in December/19.

As the harvesting stepped up last month, crushing increased. In late January, four plants were operating, purchasing the fruit between 12 BRL and 14 BRL per box, harvested and delivered to the plant.

EXPORTS – The Brazilian exports of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent increased in the first six months of the current season (2019/20). Between July and December 2019, Brazil shipped 665.85 thousand tons of the product to all dentitions, 22 % more than that from the same period of 2018, according to data from Secex. Revenue from these shipments, in turn, rose 10 % (in the same comparison), totaling 1.13 billion USD.

This result was already expected by agents from the sector, due to both the higher production in the Brazilian citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) in 19-20 and some bottling plants needs to replenish inventories. It is worth to mention that these increases also reflect the inventory flow from Brazilian terminals to terminals abroad, and not necessarily a sales increase in the same proportion.

To the European Union (the number one destination for the Brazilian juice), Brazil has exported 460.37 thousand tons of juice this season, 30 % up compared to the volume shipped between July and December 2018. To the United States, however, Brazilian shipments are decreasing, due to the crop recovery in Florida in the 18-19 season and perspectives for a positive scenario in the 19-20 season.

Higher orange supply in both Brazil and Florida in 19-20 and lower demand in the United States, in turn, are pressing down orange juice quotes this season.

The global apple concentrate market witnessed substantial growth in the past few years, and this growth is expected to continue throughout the forecast period of 2019 – 2029. Towards the end of forecast period, the sales of apple concentrate will translate into revenues exceeding US$ 5 Bn, as per the projections of a new study.

The shelf life of apple concentrate ranges from months to several years, depending on the strength and type of concentrate, as compared to the significantly shorter shelf life of fresh juices. Thus, finished products such as apple juice, sparkling drinks, and soft drinks made from apple concentrate have a longer shelf life than those made from fresh fruit juices.

Longer shelf life of products made from apple concentrate reduces transportation costs and enables manufacturers to export their products and expand their geographical reach. It also allows manufacturers to offer specialized products for the military and astronauts. These products have a longer shelf life than the products made from apple concentrates for civilians.

Key takeaways – Apple concentrate market study

  • Liquid concentrates hold the largest share in the global apple concentrate market by form. Powdered concentrates are expected to witness a slower adoption, owing to its high cost of production.
  • China accounts for the largest share in the global apple concentrate market as it is the largest producer and exporter of apples and apple concentrate offerings in the global market.
  • The beverage industry accounts for the largest share among all segments by application in the apple concentrate market and is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period.

Manufacturers can gain significant profits from focusing on the B2C channel, which has a limited number of market players.

Apple concentrate market: Competitive landscape

Key players in the global apple concentrate market strive to increase their production capacity by focusing on acquisitions, mergers, and expansion of their own production units. Such investments are also helping manufacturers to expand their geographical reach and penetrate more markets across the globe. Manufacturers are also investing in product innovation and developments for cost-effective processing methods for production of apple concentrate.

For instance, In July 2015, Britvic PLC acquired Empresa Brasileira de Bebidas e Alimentos SA (“ebba”) with an investment of US$ 174.9 Mn.

These insights are based on a report on Apple Concentrate Market by Persistence Market Research.

Brazilian exports of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent increased in October for the fourth consecutive month. This season (July to October/19), Brazil has shipped 390.5 thousand tons of the product to all destinations, 19 % more than that exported in the same period last year, according to data from Secex. Revenue, in turn, rose 8 %, in the same comparison, totaling 672.27 million USD.

This result was already expected by agents from the sector, who were based on the needs of bottling plants from the European Union (number one destination for the Brazilian juice) to replenish inventories – it is worth to mention that, last season, national shipments to the EU decreased. This season (2019/20), exports to the EU have already reached 284.3 thousand tons, 25 % up compared to the volume shipped between July and October 2018.

Shipments to the United States continue to decrease – between July and October/19, Brazilian exports to the USA decreased 6 %, totaling only 53.5 thousand tons, still reflecting the 2018/19 harvest offset in Florida as well as perspectives for a positive scenario in the American state in 2019/20.

Brazilian juice exports should continue on the rise in the coming months, due to the higher orange production in the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) and the needs of European bottling plants to replenish inventories. Shipments to the USA, in turn, will depend on the output from Florida (although greening has been controlled, it still damages local groves).

BRAZILIAN MARKET – The demand for oranges was firm in the in natura market in the first fortnight of November, according to Cepea collaborators, pushing up prices. As regards supply, the low availability of higher quality fruits and the reduction in the pear orange harvesting helped to underpin quotes. Between Nov. 1 and 14, pear orange quotes averaged 28.04 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 31.1 % up compared to that in the first half of October.

As regards tahiti lime, the volume available in the in natura market of SP is increasing – although most are small-sized fruits, which are traded at lower prices. According to agents consulted by Cepea, the gradual supply increase tends to press down quotes from now onwards. Between Nov. 1 and 14, tahiti lime prices averaged 91.37 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 14.3 % down compared to that in the first fortnight of October.

EXPORTS – Brazilian shipments of tahiti lime continue at record levels, both in terms of volume and revenue, favored by the higher supply between April and May. Between January and October/19, exports of lemon and lime totaled 93.3 thousand tons, 13.6 % up compared to that from the same period last year, according to Secex. Revenue, in turn, totaled 78.5 million USD, 3.2 % higher, in the same comparison. As supply increases in Brazil, which is expected between late November and early December, agents expect quotes to drop and shipments to increase, since lower prices favor the competitiveness of the Brazilian product in the international market.

The Brazilian exports of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent have been increasing for three months. Between July and September/19 (2019/20 crop), Brazil shipped 299.7 thousand tons of the product, 27 % more than that exported in the same period last year, according to Secex. Revenue, in turn, rose 17 %, in the same comparison, totaling 520.58 million USD.

The good exports performance is largely linked to the replenishing of European inventories (the European Union is the number one destination for the Brazilian orange juice) – last season, exports to the EU had decreased. Thus, this season, juice shipments to the EU have already reached 230.4 thousand tons, 47 % up compared to the volume exported between July and September last year.

To the United States, however, the Brazilian exports of FCOJ Equivalent have been decreasing (17% between July and September), totaling only 37.1 thousand tons since the beginning of the season, in July/19. This scenario reflects the supply offset in Florida in the 2018/19 crop as well as estimates for a positive scenario in 2019/20.

For the coming months, Brazilian juice exports are expected to keep on the rise, due to the higher orange production in the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) and the needs of European bottling plants to replenish inventories. To the USA, in turn, the increase in the demand for the Brazilian orange juice will depend on the orange production in Florida (although greening has been controlled in the American state, local groves still suffer the effects of the disease).

BRAZILIAN MARKET IN OCTOBER – Despite the higher demand for oranges in the Brazilian in natura market in the first fortnight of October, the supply of high quality fruits was low (oranges are wilted and small). Thus, prices for higher quality oranges increased in the Brazilian market in the first half of the month. Between October 1 and 15, pear orange prices averaged 21.38 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 12.6 % up compared to that in the first fortnight of September.

As regards tahiti lime, quotes increased in São Paulo in the same period – some deals reached 100.00 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested. The scenario was linked to lower supply, since the fruits still on tree had not reached the ideal size and maturation stage to be harvested.

Between October 1 and 15, tahiti lime prices averaged 79.94 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 68.3 % up compared to that in the first half of September. On the other hand, rains in the first fortnight of October may have favored fruits growth on tree, raising expectations for an increase in supply still in October.

The Brazilian exports of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent have been increasing for two consecutive months. This season (July to August/19), Brazil has shipped 199.6 thousand tons of FCOJ Equivalent – to all destinations –, 19 % more than that from the same period last year, according to data from Secex. Revenue, in turn, rose 6 %, in the same comparison, totaling 336.64 million USD.

To the European Union, the number one destination for the Brazilian orange juice, national exports have totaled 140.3 thousand tons, 22 % up compared to that between July and August/18. To the United States, on the other hand, Brazilian shipments have decreased again, by 13 %, totaling only 32.8 thousand tons between July and August/19 – this result reflects the higher supply in Florida in the 2018/19 season and perspectives for a positive scenario in 2019/20.

PERSPECTIVES – Concerning production in Brazil, new estimates for the 2019/20 season released by Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) on September 10 indicate that the orange harvest in the citrus belt should total 388.42 million boxes (40.8 kilos each). This volume is only 0.12 % smaller than that reported in May, but 35.8 % higher than the amount harvested last season (2018/19).

According to Fundecitrus, lower estimates are based on the smaller rain amounts in São Paulo starting May, which reduced the average weight for the early varieties (hamlin, westin and rubi), from 138 to 136 grams, as well as the size, from 296 to 300 fruits per box.

Still according to the report from Fundecitrus, the harvesting of early oranges has totaled 96 %, against 23 % for pear oranges and 6 % for late oranges. So far, the total volume harvested in the 2019/20 season is at 35 %.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – Tahiti lime quotes increased in São Paulo State in the first fortnight of September, reflecting lower supply, since the fruits still on tree have not reached the ideal maturation and size to be harvested yet. Between September 2 and 13, tahiti lime prices averaged 47.48 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 50.73 % up compared to that in the first half of August.

Tahiti lime exports have reached record volumes this year, largely favored by the higher supply in Brazil between April and May. From January to August/19, exports of lemon and lime totaled 83.1 thousand tons, 9.3 % up compared to that in the same period last year, according to Secex.

Concerning oranges, supply was still low in the in natura market, due to the fast crushing pace in the large sized processing plants from SP. In the in natura market, the demand for oranges was high in the first fortnight of the month. Thus, between Sept. 2 and 13, pear orange quotes averaged 18.99 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 4.05 % up compared to that in the first half of August.

In June 2019, the inventories of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) equivalent at Brazilian processing plants closed at 253.18 thousand tons, 26.2 % smaller than that in the 2017/18 season, according to data from CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters).

This volume is considered small in light of historic inventories – in recent years, inventories were only lower than that in 2010/11 and in 2016/17. The worse performance of Brazilian juice exports in 2018/19, therefore, prevented juice inventories at Brazilian processing plants from decreasing to critical levels.

CitrusBR should only release data about the ending stocks from 2019/20 and 2020/21 (June/20) next year. However, according to Cepea calculations, inventories should bounce back at the processing plants from São Paulo in 2020/21, due to the large 2019/20 crop in the citrus belt.

Considering initial inventories at 253.18 thousand tons in June/19, the demand in the in natura market, between 50 and 60 million orange boxes (the remaining production is allocated to crushing), and the increase in exports, to around 1.05 million tons, Cepea estimates inventories to be around 400 thousand tons by June/20, much higher than the current levels.

Although this scenario points to high inventories (the last four seasons ended with lower inventories), the effect on orange quotes in 2020/21 will depend on the volume to be produced next season. If production is average or high, the season tends to end with large volumes stocked again, which may constrain remuneration to growers as well as price rises for orange juice.

According to Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund), the annual orange production in the Brazilian citrus belt has been oscillating between  high and low. However, it is still early to forecast the 2020/21 season, since flowering is still beginning in some groves from SP – but, considering the long drought, flowerings may be favored.

With the higher juice supply in 2019/20, shipments may bounce back from 2018/19. The needs of European distributors may favor exports, but higher demand from the United States will still depend on Florida’s production.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – The high price levels for tahiti lime hampered new deals in the in natura market from SP in August. According to agents, supply was low, since, until the end of the month, the fruits still on tree had not reached the ideal size and maturation stage to be harvested.

Drier weather limited fruits growth, which should underpin tahiti lime prices in September. Between August 1 and 31, quotes averaged 30.03 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 20.1 % up compared to that in July.

In the in natura market of pear oranges, the trading pace was slow and demand decreased in August. However, low supply underpinned prices. Thus, pear orange quotes averaged 18.26 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, in August, 1.1 % up compared to that in July.

Brazilian exports of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent decreased 19 % in the 2018/19 crop – compared to the previous season), as expected. Between July/18 and June/19, shipments totaled only 982.24 thousand tons, according to Secex. As for the revenue, it totaled 1.8 billion USD, 19 % down in the same comparison.

The volume exported from Brazil in the 18/19 season was the second smallest in the last 20 years of Secex historical series, only larger than that from 2016/17, when the Brazilian citrus belt harvested a small crop – which, in turn, resulted in the lowest inventory of all times, according to data from CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters).

The bad performance in 2018/19 was linked to two factors: lower orange supply in the Brazilian citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) and a decrease in the international demand, mainly from the United States. Lower exports, however, prevented juice inventories at Brazilian processing plants from decreasing to critical levels at the end of the season (June 30 2019).

According to a report from CitrusBR, in June/19, inventories at Brazilian processing plants closed at only 224.51 thousand tons, which is considered low compared to that in recent years – inventories in June/19 were only lower than in 2010/11 and in 2016/17.

Brazilian shipments to the United States decreased a steep 38 % compared to that last season, totaling only 196.4 thousand tons. Revenue, in turn, dropped 39 %, to 340.96 million USD. Besides lower consumption in America, this result is linked to expectations for a crop recovery in Florida in 2018/19. According to a report from the USDA released today, July 11th, Florida should harvest 71.6 million boxes of 40.8 kilos, 59 % more than in 2017/18.

To the European Union, the biggest importer of the Brazilian orange juice, shipments totaled 643.74 thousand tons, 11% down compared to that last season. Revenue, in turn, reached 1.19 billion USD, 9 % down in the same comparison.

BRAZILIAN MARKET IN JULY – The cold weather in São Paulo State reduced citrus consumption in the first fortnight of July. According to Cepea collaborators, despite the occasional frosts in some producing regions (mainly in southwestern SP), there were no losses at orchards. Between July 1 and 15, pear orange prices averaged 18.07 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, stable (-0.05 %) compared to that between June 1 and 15.

Concerning tahiti lime, besides lower supply (due to the harvesting end for the fruits produced in the first semester of 2019), rains pushed up quotes in the first half of July. Between July 1 and 15, tahiti lime quotes averaged 25.19 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, a staggering 84.5 % up compared to that in the same period of the previous month.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded $1.8 million to two Cornell food science research projects.

One project improves the commercial viability of a new food packaging material that actively reduces the need for preservatives, while decreasing food waste; the other project improves juice and beverage production to keep the fresh taste in concentrates.

Ever-increasing food waste represents an emerging threat to the economic and environmental sustainability of the U.S. food system, said Julie M. Goddard, associate professor of food science. Preservatives are added to foods to retain quality with a longer shelf life, but consumers are demanding a reduction in additives.

However, this consumer movement leads to unintended results: food that spoils more quickly, which could cause a surge in food waste.

“We’ve shown that you can introduce preservative functionality into packaging materials, so that we can reduce the additives in foods and beverages without losing product quality,” Goddard said. These “active packaging” materials are a promising new technology, but technological hurdles and consumer-mindsets have so far prevented their successful commercial translation, she added.

Removing the preservatives in food products – such as sauces, mayonnaise or salad dressing – would severely diminish shelf life, even with refrigeration. But by adding chelating agents – compounds that can sequester metal ions – to the jar or bottle itself, the food can last much longer without the additives seeping into the food.

“There is a lot of benefit in having fewer additives but gaining the preservative quality built-in to the package so they don’t migrate to the food,” she said.

During the research phase, the researchers will work directly with consumers and producers to ensure that the packaging material meets food-production, supply chain needs and that consumers are more likely to accept this new technology.

Joining Goddard on this project will be co-principal investigators Randy Worobo, professor of food science, and Motoko Mukai, assistant professor of food science; David Just, professor of applied economics at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; and Chris Ober, professor of materials science and engineering.

For the other project, Carmen Moraru and Olga Padilla-Zakour, both professors of food science, will lead research on using reverse and forward osmosis filtration and other cold processes to create nutritious, high-quality and tasty juices and beverages in an energy-efficient way. Collaborators include Miguel Gomez, associate professor of applied economics at Dyson, and Robin Dando, associate professor of food science.

Currently, juice processors use heat to create juice concentrate, but heat changes the product’s nutritional and sensory profiles.

“Our combination nonthermal process maintains product quality and makes the juice concentrate taste like it is fresh,” Moraru said.

Also, juice concentration consumes energy. “With this cold process technology, we can save energy and conduct the concentration at a fraction of the thermal evaporation cost,” she said.

The researchers will examine different filtration conditions for specific juices and other beverages. In addition to New York state fruit juices like apple and grape juice, the researchers will also examine concentration of cold-brew coffee and tea.

Juice and beverage concentrates make sense from a financial perspective, Moraru said.

“For commercial purposes,” she said, “it is more economical to transport concentrate rather than move the added weight of water. Concentrate is economical and stable, while water makes juices more prone to degradation.”

The developed processes will be transferred to industry stakeholders. Said Moraru: “Ultimately, this work will benefit consumers and will help boost the competitiveness and sustainability of the U.S. food sector by reducing the energy in food processing.”

These new projects add to the department’s growing research output in improving environmental sustainability in the U.S. and global food production by reducing food waste while improving energy efficiency.

The Brazilian exports of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent in the 2018/19 season are ending and the volume shipped to all destinations is still low – May was the ninth consecutive month of lower sales (this scenario has been observed since September/18).

This scenario, which was already expected by agents, is linked to the lower orange production in the Brazilian citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) this season as well as lower demand from the international market, mainly the United States. The exports decrease, in turn, prevents orange inventories of Brazilian processing plants from decreasing to critical levels by the end of the season (June 30 2019).

This season (July/18 to May/19), Brazilian juice exports to all destinations have decreased 18 % compared to the same period in the 2017/18 season, totaling 918.46 thousand tons, according to Secex. Revenue, in turn, has dropped 17%, totaling 1.69 billion USD.

Exports to the European Union, the biggest purchaser of the Brazilian juice, totaled 592 thousand tons, 8 % down compared to that in the same period last year. Revenue, in turn, totaled 1.09 billion USD, 6 % down in the same comparison.

Shipments to the United States had the steepest decrease in the season, of 38 % compared to the previous crop, totaling 190.71 thousand tons of juice. This result is linked to the lower demand from the USA, due to the estimates for the recovery of the 2018/19 crop from Florida as well as lower consumption. Revenue, in turn, dropped 39 % in the same comparison, totaling 331.55 million USD.

ESTIMATES – According to a report released by the USDA on June 11, the orange crop from Florida should increase by 58.4 % compared to the previous, totaling 71.4 million boxes (1.3 % down compared to that forecast in May).

Despite the decrease in the consumption of orange juice in the United States, the demand from the country for the Brazilian orange juice may not decrease too sharply in the coming seasons, due to the effects of greening on American crops in the long term.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – The trading pace was slow in the Brazilian citrus market in the first fortnight of June. However, the volume of oranges in the ideal stage for the in natura market was gradually decreasing in São Paulo, due to the increase in the deliveries to processing plants. Thus, between June 3 and 14, pear orange quotes averaged 18.08 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 21.5 % down compared to that in the first half of May.

As for tahiti lime, despite the large volume available for harvesting, the current weather allows the fruits to stay on tree for longer. Thus, growers reduced the pace of activities in the field, aiming to prevent prices from dropping too much. In the first half of June, tahiti lime quotes averaged 13.65 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, a slight 20.6 % down compared to that in the first fortnight of May.

EXPORTS – Lemon and lime shipments were positive in May, surpassing, for the first time in the year, the amount exported in 2018. Last month, exports hit a record (revenue and volume) in all Secex series, which started in 1997.

According to Brazilian exporters consulted by Cepea, as the weather delayed the maturation of tahiti lime crops in SP, shipments decreased from March to April, increasing again in May. According to data from Secex, Brazil exported 18.94 thousand tons of lemon and lime in May, almost two-fold the amount shipped in May 2018 and 57% more than that exported in April/19.

The combination of lower orange supply in the Brazilian citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) in the 2018/19 crop with the recovery of Florida production is keeping the Brazilian exports of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent low. This season (from July/18 to March/19), Brazilian juice shipments to all destinations have totaled 783.4 thousand tons, 14 % down compared to that in the same period last season, according to Secex. Revenue, in turn, has reached 1.4 billion USD, 12 % lower in the same comparison.

To the European Union, the biggest purchaser of the Brazilian juice, shipments have totaled 506.29 thousand tons this season, 8 % down compared to the same period last year. Revenue, in turn, has reached 941.2 million USD, 6 % down in the same comparison.

To the United States, the Brazilian exports of FCOJ Equivalent totaled 167.8 thousand tons between July/18 and March/19, 26 % less than in the same period of the previous season. Revenue reached 296.7 million USD, 27 % down in the same comparison.

The American demand for the Brazilian orange juice should not decrease too much in the coming seasons, due to the damages caused by greening, a disease with severe effects on production in the long term.

CROP END – Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) announced, on April 10, that the orange production in the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) has totaled 285.98 million boxes of 40.8 kilos this season, 28.2 % down compared to the output in 2017/18 (398.35 million boxes). Compared to the average in the last 10 years, the current production is 11.6% lower.

Lower productivity was triggered by the weather (heat and drought) during fruit development. Low supply, in turn, kept high the need of Brazilian processing plants for oranges in 2018, limiting availability in the in natura segment.

MARKET IN APRIL – The higher availability of early oranges in the 2019/20 crop pressed down the quotes of all varieties surveyed by Cepea in the first fortnight of April. With the maturation stage below that demanded in the in natura segment, trades were limited. Between April 1 and 15, pear orange prices averaged 35.17 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 18.8 % down compared to that in the first fortnight of March.

TAHITI LIME – Tahiti lime prices have been firm in Brazil this year, which is not typical for a first quarter. Although harvesting stepped up (which is common for the beginning of the year, due to the crop peak), high demand for exports as well as from Brazilian processing plants is controlling supply in São Paulo State.

In this scenario, the average price in April (until April 15) is already the second highest for the month, in nominal terms, considering Cepea series, which started in 1996 for this product. The same was observed in the first quarter of 2019, when the nominal average in January was only lower than in Jan/18 and the nominal averages in February and March were only lower than in the same months of 2016 – tahiti lime quotes reached nominal records in Feb. and Mar. 2016 and in Jan. 2018, in the historical series.

Agents’ initial expectations were that the harvesting of the fruits from the second blossoming would increase tahiti lime supply in the in natura market in April, despite the smaller volume compared to that in the crop peak. However, mainly in January and February, the demand from processing plants was high and prices, appealing. Thus, many growers harvested all the fruits early in the year, reducing supply in March.

Some citrus farmers accelerated the tahiti lime harvesting early in the year, aiming to prepare the trees for production in the second semester of 2019 (when prices usually rise).

In early April, according to purchasers, it was still difficult to find high quality tahiti lime in the in natura market. While mature fruits were missing, the new ones were still green – for that reason, harvesting was postponed. Higher quality fruits, in turn, were allocated to the international market. Thus, between April 1 and 15, tahiti lime quotes averaged 23.49 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, a staggering 63.6 % up compared to that in the first fortnight of March.

Döhler Group and Zumos Catalano Aragoneses S.A. (ZUCASA) have reached an agreement on the acquisition of the majority of shares in ZUCASA by the Döhler Group. With immediate effect, Döhler will manage ZUCASA’s juice production facility located in the Huesca region through its subsidiary Döhler Fraga S.L.

For Döhler, this transaction marks another great step forward in one of Europe’s largest fruit production areas. Customers will benefit from a more diverse offering in the stone fruits segment as well as in apples and pears; furthermore, the combined businesses will offer greater efficiency in a global market with regard to customised all-in-one solutions.

ZUCASA’s extensive expertise and ability to provide fruit and vegetable juices, purees and concentrates for food and beverages, combined with the broad product portfolio and the comprehensive industry knowledge of the Döhler Group, will create unique synergy effects. In the coming years, Döhler Group aims to set a benchmark within the sector and develop a plan of expansion and sustainable growth within its business model.

About ZUCASA:

Zumos Catalano Aragoneses S.A. is a producer of juices, purees and sweet fruit concentrates, vegetables and plants located in the region of Fraga (Huesca), with operations at the heart of Spain’s largest production area of sweet fruit between Huesca and Lleida. It has facilities spanning more than 24,000 m2 over an area of 168,000 m2, with capacity to store 32,000 m3 of natural fruit juices, purees and concentrates. ZUCASA began production in 2010 with three lines for processing fruits and vegetables: two of which for purees and a third for juices. Currently, it employs an average of 50 workers on permanent contracts, reaching 150 workers during high season. The company’s commitment to quality in production has been confirmed by the international certifications BRC, IFS, SGF, Kosher, FDA and others, which in turn have enabled it to expand internationally, with more than 60 % of revenues coming from exports.

Data released in late February reinforced perspectives that the inventories of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent should decrease to critical levels at the end of the current season (2018/19). Although estimates were revised up (by 36.7 %) compared to the first report, released in August/18, the volume forecast is still one of the lowest in the recent citrus activity (the second lowest since 2010/2011).

According to the report, released by CitrusBR on Feb. 26, ending stocks of FCOJ Equivalent at processors from São Paulo State (on June 30 2019) should total only 200.56 thousand tons. If confirmed, this volume would account for a 41.5 % reduction compared to that in 2017/18 (at 342.96 thousand tons). Thus, even if higher production estimates for 2019/20 are confirmed in the citrus belt (São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro), low juice supply may again boost the orange prices paid to Brazilian citrus farmers next year.

This scenario, in turn, reflects both the lower production in the current season (2018/19), which is almost 29 % smaller than the previous one, according to Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund), and the ending stocks in June/18 (related to the 2017/18 crop), which, although positive, were not considered too high. Besides, yield has decreased at processors this crop, due to the weather, demanding larger amounts of orange for juice production.

The increase in the volume estimated back in August/18 compared to that from February/19 may be linked to the reduction in the Brazilian juice exports, due to both lower demand from the main importing countries and processors strategy of keeping larger volumes stocked at the end of the 2018/19 season. Still, ending stocks in the new season will be lower than the strategic level established, at 300 thousand tons, reinforcing the predictions for firm prices paid to Brazilian citrus farmers – for both those who sell oranges to the industry and the ones who sell to the in natura market.

In fact, the first bids from large-sized processors for the oranges from the 2019/20 season started earlier again (in October/18). Bidding prices were around 22 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered at processors, to which may still be added a participation additional to the juice selling price in the international market. In 2018/19, the first bidding prices were up to 20 BRL per box. Trades, however, have already been reduced or ended.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – The availability of high quality oranges was low in SP State in February, pushing up quotes of all the varieties surveyed by Cepea. Between Feb. 1 and 28, pear orange quotes averaged 40.66 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 33.6 % up compared to that in January (2 – 31).

Cott Corporation announced the sale of its soft drink concentrate production business and its RCI International division (“Cott Beverages LLC”) to Refresco for USD 50 million, who in turn sold the RCI worldwide branded activities to RC Global Beverages Inc.

“This transaction is the final step in the transformation of our business where selling the remaining business unit of the traditional carbonated soft drinks business is consistent with our strategy of accelerating the growth across our platform in water, coffee, tea, extracts and filtration solutions,” commented Tom Harrington, Cott’s Chief Executive Officer. “We want to thank all the associates of Cott Beverages LLC for their contributions and wish them well as they rejoin their former traditional bottling business colleagues and become a part of Refresco,” continued Mr. Harrington.

Hans Roelofs, CEO Refresco: “We are pleased to add Cott’s Columbus concentrate manufacturing facility to Refresco North America. It adds extensive innovation capabilities and skills and creates a global center of excellence for beverage concentrate manufacturing. It is a perfect fit with our business.  We have decided to divest the RCI International branded activities and find an owner who can bring similar focus and continuity to this iconic brand. With RC Global Beverages Inc., we believe we have found an excellent match. The sale of Columbus from Cott to Refresco and the sale of the RCI International activities from Refresco to RC Global Beverages Inc. took place simultaneously.”

The Hamburg-based ingredients specialist Bösch Boden Spies presents a new product in its range: Ocean Spray’s 50° Brix cranberry concentrate. It offers beverage manufacturers numerous advantages.

The beverage market is changing: More and more consumers are looking for healthy thirst quenchers that are low on sugar and high on added functional value. Meanwhile, traditional juices and spritzers are increasingly having a hard time in the market. New product concepts are in demand: Ocean Spray’s 50° Brix cranberry concentrate offers beverage manufacturers the ideal basis for this.

The product is characterized by a special production process whereby fewer turbidity-forming ingredients are transferred into the concentrate. As a result, it is particularly color-stable and can easily be mixed with other beverages without flocculating.

Adding this cranberry concentrate to juices, for example, can significantly reduce the sugar content of the beverages. The products taste tart and exotic with a natural, light sweetness. At the same time, the subtle cranberry taste enhances the flavors of the other fruits.

The cranberry concentrate increases the antioxidant content of a drink. And their attractive red color gives beverages containing cranberry a special visual appeal as well.

The cranberry concentrate is also good for using in alcoholic beverages, and is suitable for other product segments as well, such as the dairy sector.

Despite the firm sales prices, lower orange production in the 2018/19 crop from the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) should constrain the revenue of farmers who trade with processors, since the lower number of boxes produced per hectare tends to push up the unit price. Only in southwestern SP, where production has not changed much, revenue may remain at high levels.

According to data released by Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) on September 10, this crop should be 31.4 % smaller than the previous (2017/18), totaling only 273.3 million boxes (40.8 kilos) of oranges. This volume is 5.2 % lower than that first forecast by Fundecitrus in May.

Lower production estimates confirm the initial expectations of the agents consulted by Cepea, who believe that the performance of the current crop may have been compromised by both the high rate of flower loss from the first blossoming (between August and October/17) and the lack of rains in the first semester of 2018. Fundecitrus has reported that the average weight of all varieties is lower than that forecast in May, because of the severe drought (May – July).

Lower domestic supply, in turn, has boosted orange prices to processors this year. Besides, inventories from the 2018/19 crop should again decrease to critical levels by June 2019, according to forecasts from CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters), totaling only 146.7 thousand tons of juice, the second lowest in the CitrusBR series, which started in 1988/89, and only enough for two months of exportations.

After the new estimates were released, prices have been stable in the spot market, at 24 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered at the processor. However, quotes had already increased last month, when CitrusBR anticipated that estimates from Fundecitrus could be revised down. Despite the smaller amount available for crushing, the average yield is forecast to be higher than in the previous crop, due to the dry period in the citrus belt from May to July (CitrusBR).

Most farmers have already closed deals with the industry – since November/17, processors’ bidding prices have been up to 22 BRL per box. Thus, if quotes increase at processors from now onward, the few farmers with fruits available will still be favored.

SHORTER HARVEST – The new report from Fundecitrus has highlighted that the 2018/19 crop harvesting may end earlier, which, in turn, may push up orange quotes in early 2019, when supply is usually low. So far, 36 % of the oranges from that crop have been harvested, 2 percentage points above the same period last season.

IN NATURA MARKET – The low supply of fruits with the quality demanded by the in natura segment underpinned orange prices in the first fortnight of September. Thus, from September 3 to 14, pear orange quotes averaged 30.81 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 10.6 % up compared to that in the first fortnight of August.

In the market of tahiti lime, supply is low, which increased quotes in the first fortnight of September – in the first week of the month, prices surpassed 90 BRL per 27-kilo box. Between September 3 and 14, tahiti lime quotes averaged 67.42 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, a staggering 83 % up compared to that in the same period last month.

On the other hand, higher quotes have constrained exportations, due to the competition with the fruits from Mexico. According to Fresh Plaza website, tahiti lime shipments to Europe usually step up starting June, both from Brazil and Mexico.

In general, the exportation season for tahiti lime was positive in the first semester, but shipments decreased in both July and August, according to Secex, by 21.5 % and 8.2 %, respectively, compared to the same months of 2017. From January to August this year, exports totaled 76 thousand tons, a slight 0.4 % down compared to the same period last year.

Despite the positive ending stock scenario in July (referring to the 2017/18 crop), CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters) estimates a tight carry over for orange juice by June 2019 (2018/19 crop), at around 146.7 thousand tons.

This amount would be enough for two months of exportations, at the most, the second smallest in the CitrusBR series (which started in 1988/89) and 5.6 % lower than the minimum stablished by the Association in May, at 154.7 thousand tons of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent. The critical volume is due to the smaller crop forecast for the citrus belt, at only 288.29 million boxes, 27.6 % down compared to the 2017/18 season.

New estimates from Citrus BR are based on an average industrial yield at 259 boxes of 40.8 kilos of oranges to produce one ton of FCOJ, higher than that last season, due to the dry period in the citrus belt – approximately 120 days. The lack of rains, according to CitrusBR, should significantly affect the initial volume forecast by Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund), released in May (which still did not consider the scenario from May to July).

As for the 2017/18 crop, CitrusBR reported ending stocks at 343 thousand tons of FCOJ Equivalent on June 30 2018 at the processors from SP. That amount accounts for a significant recovery at 219.6 % compared to the volume at the end of 2016/17.

This positive result is linked to the larger harvest at the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) in 2017/18, which totaled 398.35 million boxes of 40.8 kilos, 62.4 % more than in 2016/17, according to Fundecitrus. Compared to the average in the last 10 years, the output was 25% larger and the largest since 2011/12 (when it totaled 416 million boxes). The positive harvest in 2017/18 ensured comfortable inventories at processors, which, however, cannot be considered a surplus.

IN NATURA MARKET – Despite the weak demand, pear orange quotes remain at high levels in Brazil. As crushing of mid-season fruits steps up at processors from SP, and with the low supply of good quality oranges at orchards, availability is low in the spot. Thus, pear orange quotes averaged 27.85 BRL per 40.8-kilo box (on tree) in the first fortnight of August, 5.9% higher than in the same period of July.

The smaller crop forecast for the Brazilian citrus belt in 2018/19 (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro), at 288.29 million 40.8-kilo boxes (almost 30 % lower than the 2017/18 season), should result in critical inventories at processors from São Paulo State on June 30 2019. In 2017//18, despite the larger crop, supply was not significant, only enough to slightly increase the low inventories from 2016/17.

Thus, by June 2019, inventories should be 50 % smaller, considering forecasts for the 2018/19 crop. Data released by CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters) on May 22 estimated ending stocks of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent from 55.9 thousand tons to 154.7 thousand tons in June 2019. CitrusBR forecasts were based on the volumes crushed in the 2017/18 season, at around 243.4 million 40.8-kilo boxes, 34% down compared to the 370 million boxes crushed in the current season (2017/18).

Cepea calculations, however, indicate inventories are more likely to be from 55.9 to 102.6 thousand tons, not reaching the maximum level estimated by CitrusBR (at 154.7 thousand tons). To forecast that scenario, CitrusBR considered exportations will keep firm. Now, if processors do not aim to reduce inventories that much, the volume shipped may decrease in 2018/19.

The 2017/18 ending stocks of orange juice should be at 305.9 thousand tons by June 30 2018, 20.3 % up compared to that forecast in February/18. The positive 2017/18 harvesting ensured comfortable inventories to processors this year.

n general, the global demand for orange juice has been firm, mainly from the United States, Considering Florida crop may be 35 % lower, according to the USDA, juice availability should continue low in the next season (2019/20).

Regarding growers’ revenue, forecasts for the short-term indicate prices may not change much. Most farmers have already closed contracts with processors, and even if bidding prices rise from now onward, only a few growers would have fruits available for trading. Besides, productivity should be low, since the number of boxes produced per hectare results in a higher cost per unit and lower margins.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – Although the trading pace in the Brazilian citrus market slowed down in the second week of June, the supply of oranges in the stages demanded by the in natura market from São Paulo decreased, since delivery of these fruits to processors stepped up early in the month, when truckers’ strike ended. Thus, in the first fortnight of June, pear orange quotes averaged 25.52 BRL per 40.8-kilo, on tree, 1 % down compared to that in the same period of May.

As for tahiti lime, harvesting started again (after the end of truckers’ strike), pressing down quotes as well. Besides, demand was weakened in the domestic market. In the first fortnight of June, tahiti lime quotes averaged 36.36 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 26.1 % down compared to that between May 1 and 15.

For the 8th consequtive year already, the AIM took place from 9th-11th April 2018 at Dubai World Trade Center and is considered to be the leading interntaional direct investors meeting. More then 100 influencial and innovative experts participated at the conference to learn and discuss about the trends and innvocation of direct investments as a tool to guarantuee longterm competitiveness. The Conference was initiated and established by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Economics to secure and promote innovative and direct investments longterm.

Claudia Lauener and Frank Hofer, nomenees and representatives of swiss-based Frutco AG, were proudly handed over the AIM Runner-up Investment Award 2018 for the best direct investment in Latinamerica, supported by nicaraguan ambassador Mohamed Lashtar.

The 20 Million Dollar project CHIMACO AG (farms) and Frutco de Las Americas SA (processing) has become an epicenter of sustainability for trainings, education and farming in regards of Maracuya. CHIMACO stands for Chinandega Maracuya Company and employs more then 100 people.

Frutco AG and CHIMACO currently produce on 200 hectares of farmland. As soon as the processing plant of Frutco de Las Americas SA, a joint-venture of Swiss based CT Finance AG and Nicaragua based Grupo Coen will be ready for production, additional independent producers for Maracuya, Guava and Bananas will join the project with a production plan of more then 1.500 hectares, ready to produce purees, concenrates and juices. Grupo Coen will dedicate 2.000 hectares of extra land to the project. In addition to that, enough land can be added for portential future projects.

New estimates for the 2017/18 orange production in the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) may affect ending stocks of the season, on June 30, 2018. Data released by CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters) indicate that the larger orange harvest may more than double the juice volume held by processing companies in São Paulo, compared to the same period last season.

The Association says that the season may finish with juice inventories at 254.2 thousand tons (equivalent to concentrate juice), which represents 12 weeks of consumption. This figure is 22 % higher than that estimated in August 2017; however, it is still the fourth lowest over the last 20 years.

Although still uncertain, initial expectations indicate that the 2018/19 orange production will be smaller than in the current season, except in southwestern São Paulo (Avaré and surroundings), where the weather may allow production similar to that in 2017/18. Therefore, there is nothing indicating orange juice surplus, also based on the good performance of exportations.

The recovery of inventories compared to the CitrusBR projection released in August was already expected by the sector, given that estimates for the orange crop, performed by Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund), has already been reviewed upwards three times since the first release of CitrusBR. In the first estimate (May/17), Fundecitrus forecast 364.5 million 40.8-kilo boxes in São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro; however, due to favorable weather conditions during the season and better cultural practices, that estimate was revised up to 397.27 million boxes on the projection released on February, 15.

The good rainfall, on the other hand, may affect industrial revenue (number of necessary orange boxes to produce one ton of concentrate juice). CitrusBR data indicate that, on the average of the season, 282.49 orange boxes may be necessary for each juice ton, 5.7 % more compared to the previous estimate (August).

2017/18 CROP – According to Fundecitrus data released on February 15, the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) may produce 397.27 million 40.8-kilo boxes of oranges in the 2017/18 season, 62 % more than in the 2016/17 season (245.3 million boxes) and 3.13 % higher in relation to December forecasts. Fundecitrus says that, considering all varieties, 97 % of the total of the crop has already been harvested.

Global demand for exotic fruit is rapidly increasing. Today, the worldwide fruit puree concentrate market is valued at more than US$400m (€332m) and is expected to grow to US$700m (€581m) by 2026.

Similar growth is expected in the exotic fruit puree concentrate market which is predicted to reach US$274m (€227m) by 2026.
What is causing this increase and how can exotic fruit processors meet the demand without compromising quality?

Consumer demands

The worldwide increase in consumption of baby food is a significant factor in the predicted expansion of the market. Alongside this, growth in the fruit juice industry, and the increasing demand for fruit smoothies and other products, is further encouraging development in the sector.

Currently, fruit juices tend to be made from juice concentrate. However, manufacturers are starting to use puree concentrate instead. This shift provides consumers with a thicker, better-tasting, smoother drink and exotic fruits are a key ingredient within many of them.

Exotic fruits include high quantities of fibrous material, which further increases its consumer appeal from a health perspective. As ‘better-for-you’ products become more popular, the demand for fruit puree concentrate is only going to increase and so are the varied ways in which it is processed.

For example, when it comes to juice processing, most fruits are crushed and the juice is then extracted. However, as consumers look for better taste, a thicker consistency and to keep some of the important nutrients intact, processors are responding by peeling the fruits, removing the skin, seed pockets and stones to achieve a high-quality concentrate and puree.

Advanced technologies

Fruit peeling is an important part of the juice and smoothie manufacturing process. Current methods involve certain fruits – such as peaches, apples and mangos – undergoing a lye peeling process. This sees produce pass through a boiling sodium hydroxide solution which burns off the skin. This process, however, uses large volumes of water, and can lead to high levels of food waste which makes the process inherently inefficient.

Technological advances in steam peeling have created significant advantages over lye peeling. These allow for reduction in water usage, limiting the amount of produce wasted and contributing towards an altogether more sustainable process.

Today, leading equipment manufacturers have delivered innovations which can steam peel and sort a range of fruits including apples, mango, peaches, nectarines and papayas. These innovations also help processors overcome problems found in particular fruits, such as the removal of seed pockets in apples and the pits in others. By helping in the removal of these issues, processors can provide a higher quality, smoother drink to consumers.

Using steam peeling to remove the skin, and to create a smooth consistent surface around the outer surface and inner core, means that high volumes of fruits can be processed to a very high quality and with reduced waste. These high quality peeled fruits form the basis of the concentrate and puree that can be used in many applications.

In recent years, TOMRA Sorting Food has worked closely with leading fruit processing companies in Europe and Asia to evaluate their steam peeling processes for use in high volume fruit processing lines. The companies’ system enables processors to peel quickly and efficiently, so that the heat absorption of the fruit is significantly lower, in turn protecting it and making for a superior product.

Central Washington fruit grower extends beyond premium dried fruit lines into beverage market

Royal Ridge Fruits announces, via its Stoneridge Orchards brand, the introduction of its Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate, a new liquid twist on their popular dried Montmorency cherries.

The Montmorency tart cherry, grown largely in the U.S and Canada, are abundant in anthocyanin’s – a natural, flavonoid compound that contributes to the ruby-red color and distinctive sour-sweet taste. The fruit has become the source of over 50 studies supporting health benefits such as:

  • Natural ant-inflammatory agent: targeted for general pain relief, reducing muscle soreness after exercise and easing arthritic or gout pain
  • Natural sleep aid: through the presence of melatonin, a human sleep regulating hormone also found in certain plants.
  • Natural immune system regulator: through the presence of vitamin C.

Royal Ridge Fruits is the largest West Coast producer of Montmorency tart cherries, through its farming settlement along Central Washington’s Columbia river basin – known for rich soils and a diverse climate. The product will be the first juice available among an extensive line of premium dried fruits, in whole, sliced and diced varieties.

“Responding to a growing body of research on tart cherries, and the popularity of our own tart cherry dried fruit snacks, adding the Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate was a natural step for us,” says Mila Savella, Vice President of Marketing at Royal Ridge Fruits. “The Montmorency cherry has held a special place in our growing cycle for decades, and through our new concentrate we’re hoping more can enjoy it year-round.”

Each bottle of the Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate contains up to 1,000 individual cherries, providing a rich source of the fruit’s natural nutrients. All ingredients in the drink are natural, non-GMO and gluten-free. The Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate will be available to consumers in select US markets through the company’s retailer network. For the initial launch, Stoneridge Orchards will offer the product for $2.00 off.

Central Washington fruit grower extends beyond premium dried fruit lines into beverage market
Royal Ridge Fruits announces, via its Stoneridge Orchards brand, the introduction of its Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate, a new liquid twist on their popular dried Montmorency cherries.

The Montmorency tart cherry, grown largely in the U.S and Canada, are abundant in anthocyanin’s – a natural, flavonoid compound that contributes to the ruby-red color and distinctive sour-sweet taste. The fruit has become the source of over 50 studies supporting health benefits such as:

  • Natural ant-inflammatory agent: targeted for general pain relief, reducing muscle soreness after exercise and easing arthritic or gout pain
  • Natural sleep aid: through the presence of melatonin, a human sleep regulating hormone also found in certain plants.
  • Natural immune system regulator: through the presence of vitamin C.

Royal Ridge Fruits is the largest West Coast producer of Montmorency tart cherries, through its farming settlement along Central Washington’s Columbia river basin – known for rich soils and a diverse climate. The product will be the first juice available among an extensive line of premium dried fruits, in whole, sliced and diced varieties.
“Responding to a growing body of research on tart cherries, and the popularity of our own tart cherry dried fruit snacks, adding the Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate was a natural step for us,” says Mila Savella, Vice President of Marketing at Royal Ridge Fruits. “The Montmorency cherry has held a special place in our growing cycle for decades, and through our new concentrate we’re hoping more can enjoy it year-round.”

Each bottle of the Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate contains up to 1,000 individual cherries, providing a rich source of the fruit’s natural nutrients. All ingredients in the drink are natural, non-GMO and gluten-free. The Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate will be available to consumers in select US markets through the company’s retailer network. For the initial launch, Stoneridge Orchards will offer the product for $2.00 off.