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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.

The crushing pace of the 2017/18 oranges has been slow at processors from São Paulo State. Currently, only one plant of the large-sized processors is operating (in Araraquara), receiving early oranges, both purchased through contract and in the spot market, where bidding prices for pear and late oranges have been around 15 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered at the processor. At small-sized processors, however, mainly those that produce fresh juice, quotes may reach 23 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, depending on yield and quality.

Crushing of the 2018/19 early oranges, in turn, should start only in May – activities are forecast to step up in June. Remuneration in the spot has not been defined yet, but prices bid by processors are expected to be similar or even higher than in the 2017/18 crop (at 18 BRL per box), since orange supply is expected to be smaller this year, and juice inventories, limited.

2017/18 SEASON – On April 10, Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) announced that orange production in the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) ended with 398.35 million boxes of 40.8 kilos, a staggering 62.4 % up compared to that harvested in the 2016/17 crop (245.3 million boxes). Compared to the average in the last 10 years, the current production is 25 % higher and the largest since 2011/2012, when it totaled 416 million boxes. According to Fundecitrus, good rain volumes in the developing period and higher investments in crop management favored productivity.

DOMESTIC MARKET – With the slower crushing pace, early oranges were sold exclusively to the in natura market in the first fortnight of April. Between April 2 and 13, pear orange prices averaged 31.88 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 17.6 % up compared to the average in the first fortnight of March.

As for tahiti lime, the market was calmer in the first half of April. However, with the price rises observed in late March, growers continued to control the harvesting pace, aiming to underpin quotes. In that scenario, tahiti lime prices averaged 17.93 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 31.1 % up compared to that in the first fortnight of March.