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Final orange1crop forecast totals285.98 million boxes

The 2018-2019 final orange crop forecast for São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt, published on April 10, 2019 by Fundecitrus – performed in cooperation with Markestrat, FEA-RP/USP and FCAV/Unesp2 – is of 285.98 million boxes of 40.8 kg each, which is 28.2 % smaller in comparison to the previous crop (2017-2018) of 398.35 million boxes, and 11.6 % below the crop average in the last ten years3. The survey’s data show that final production was 0.8 % smaller than the initial projection carried out in May 2018, of 288.29 million boxes. Final crop total includes:

  • 50.70 million boxes of the Hamlin, Westin and Rubi varieties;
  • 14.66 million boxes of the Valencia Americana, Seleta and Pineapple varieties;
  • 79.12million boxes of the Pera Rio variety;
  • 107.91 million boxes of the Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha varieties;
  • 33.59million boxes of the Natal variety.

Approximately 16.02 million boxes of the finalcrop were produced in West Minas Gerais.

This crop season, adverse weather conditions in the citrus belt, with the exception of the Southwest region, resulted in a lower yield in groves. Irregular climate in the crop season set in back in 2017 with delayed spring rains, which caused orange trees to bloom late. High temperatures after flowering hindered fruit set, ultimately reducing the number of oranges per tree.

During fruit development and harvesting from May 2018 to March 2019, the accumulated rainfall in the citrus belt was 1,295 millimeters, which is 3 % below historical average (1981-2010), according to data from Somar Meteorologia.The months of May 2018 to July 2018 were drier than expected, with rainfall well below average. With decreased rainfall, fruit size did not reach the average 256 fruits per box (159 grams per fruit) projected in May 2018. Threefruits above projection were necessary to fill a 40.8 kg box. Therefore, the final average size for all varieties was 259 fruits per box (158 grams per fruit). The deviation between final average size (April 2019) and projected size (May 2018) was small, although deviation for each variety was more significant due to irregular rainfall distribution and fruit harvesting time.

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  • 1Hamlin, Westin, Rubi, Valencia Americana, Seleta, Pineapple, Pera Rio, Valencia, Valencia Folha Murcha and Natal.
  • 2Department of Math and ScienceatFCAV/Unesp, Jaboticabal Campus.
  • 3Average production for the last decade is of 323.34 million boxes. Data for crops 2008/2009 to 2014/2015 supplied by orange juice companies associated to Fundecitrus –Citrosuco, Cutrale and Louis Dreyfus, which, individually, have estimated their crop for the citrus planted area since 1988, through objective methodology. Data for the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 crops supplied by Fundecitrus.