Ad:Business Contacts
Ads:Current issue FRUIT PROCESSINGWorld Of Fruits 2023Our technical book Apple Juice TechnologyFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Instability of fruit-based beveragesFRUIT PROCESSING Online Special: Don’t give clogs a chanceOrange Juice ChainOur German magazine FLÜSSIGES OBST

The 2022/23 orange season in the citrus belt (São Paulo State and the Triângulo Mineiro) is ending, while the oranges from next season are still green. Thus, the volume of oranges being processed at the plants in SP has been low. Considering large-sized plants, only three of them were processing oranges in March. In the same period last year, the scenario was the same, while in 2021, only one plant was in operation, which confirms that industrial activity is still high for this time of the year.

However, one of these plants is forecast to end activities in April, since orange availability is low. So far, the prices paid by the industry in the spot market have been around BRL 38.00 per 40.8-kg box (harvested and delivered). Considering the oranges from the new season (2023/24), bids have been higher, at BRL 40/box, however, the farmers consulted by Cepea reported some deals at BRL 42/box.

Most of the oranges from the 23/24 season has been sold. Thus, the number of fruits available in the spot market in 2023/24 will be low. However, processors’ needs are high, since their juice inventories are low.

As for the oranges not purchased yet, agents from processors reported that farmers are not rushing to sell them, since quotations have been firm in the table market, which may lead them to send the ripen fruits to this segment. These fruits may also be sent to small-sized plants that produce whole juice, which continue to process fruits and are paying up to BRL 45/box. However, for the production of whole juice, quality requirements are usually higher.

Orange processing in the 2023/24 season is forecast to begin in mid-May at large-sized processors. However, only from June onwards the volume is expected to increase.

Premium fruit and vegetable ingredient supplier SVZ announced a strategic investment for its Belgian processing plant in Rijkevorsel. The latest in a series of global growth and sustainability-focused investments, SVZ seeks to expand the facility’s capacity to meet rising consumer demand for fruit and vegetable ingredients – while also boosting its sustainability credentials.

Growing capacity

Demand for naturally healthy, nutritious ingredients is growing as consumers become more aware of the impact what they consume has on their wellbeing. To fulfil this need, SVZ is investing in the capacity and processing technology required to process larger quantities of fruit and vegetable ingredients on-site without compromising on quality. A new pasteuriser in the plant, for example, will allow its Belgium facility to boost its puree production significantly.

This investment follows similar expansions across SVZ’s global processing plants, as the business meets this heightened demand for fruit and vegetable ingredients. In Poland, for example, the Tomaszów facility’s concentrate line has been bolstered, while SVZ’s US-based plant has not only boosted its puree line but is also investing in new automation technology to streamline the production process even further.

Sustainability first

SVZ’s investment in the Rijkevorsel plant also supports the business’ sustainability efforts – and progress towards its 100 % sustainable sourcing goal. The Belgium facility has seen a massive reduction in CO2 emissions over the last two years – and this new effort will aim to build on this by further decreasing heat consumption and exploring new ways of reusing expended energy within the facility. Indeed, the new pasteuriser will reduce emissions by 19 % – a crucial step in SVZ’s journey to low carbon production.

This new investment also contributes to SVZ’s broader mission of boosting the sustainability credentials of all global processing sites. SVZ’s Spain-based plant in Almonte, for example, has been recently fitted with solar panels, and a new cold storage facility has also been constructed to reduce reliance on third party-storage and transportation. Meanwhile, SVZ’s US processing plant has focused recent investment on water treatment, so water can be cleaned and reused.

Growing better, together

“SVZ has its sights set firmly on the future,” says Pieter Spanjers, CEO at SVZ. “This new investment increases our Rijkevorsel plant’s processing capacity and capabilities to ensure future growth. We are working on an agreement that will significantly increase our sourcing capacity, and we need a facility that allows us to efficiently absorb those heightened volumes, as well as serve our customers while keeping the highest standards of quality.

“We’re passionate about creating a healthier, greener planet and we want to do our part in ensuring it for all generations. This investment will enable us to continue our mission effectively and support our customers in creating tomorrow’s food and beverage products.”

Ball Corporation, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of infinitely recyclable aluminium beverage packaging, is planning to significantly increase its manufacturing capacity, with new cutting-edge facilities in the UK and Russia.

With an increasing consumer call for more sustainable purchasing options and a growing number of new brands and beverage categories choosing cans, demand for aluminium packaging is rapidly expanding around the world. Each facility would produce, from 2023, billions of cans a year across a range of formats and sizes, and provide up to 200 skilled jobs in a fast-growing but stable sector.

In the UK, Ball has identified a site at the SEGRO Park Kettering Gateway, an established industrial development in Northamptonshire. Ball has submitted its formal application to North Northamptonshire Council and anticipates breaking ground during 2021, following a period of public consultation.

The planned Kettering plant will represent Ball’s third beverage can manufacturing facility in the UK, adding capacity to its established plants in Milton Keynes and Wakefield. The plant will supply cans for domestic customers in a growing range of categories, which now includes hard seltzers, wines, ready to drink cocktails, together with pure and enhanced water brands.

To serve the fast growing Russian market, especially in the beer and energy drinks categories, Ball is planning to build a plant in Ulyanovsk in Western Russia. Ball Beverage Packaging Naro-Fominsk has signed a cooperation agreement for its construction with the Ulyanovsk Regional Government, who in June also awarded the development ‘Highly Significant Investment Project’ status.

The Ulynavosk plant will take the total in Russia to four, with established manufacturing facilities in Naro-Fominsk, Moscow Region; Vesvolozhsk, St. Petersburg Region; and Argayash, Chelyabinsk Region.

The EU legislation requires the setup of an EU catalogue of varieties of fruit plant propagating material and fruit plants based on Member States’ national catalogues. Today the Commission’s new Fruit Reproductive Material Information System (FRUMATIS) for the management of these national catalogues went online.

FRUMATIS provides information on the identification of the variety, its registration, the registration validity period, intellectual property rights, and optional information such as the breeder and maintainer of the variety. FRUMATIS is an easily consultable database aiming to increase the confidence in varieties marketed throughout the EU. The estimated value of fruit plant propagating material and fruit plants produced in the EU is above € 760 million. Two billion plants are produced on a surface of over 11.400 ha in the EU.

FRUMATIS currently lists more than 14.000 varieties of fruit plant propagating material and fruit plants. This new system allows Member States to manage themselves the publication of their national catalogues on the Commission’s website. FRUMATIS uses semantic technologies that allow it to connect to publicly available structured data sources. The Commission intends to create a central hub of catalogues of agricultural and vegetable species, fruit genera/species and vine varieties.

One of the large-sized processing plants from São Paulo State started purchasing oranges in the spot market in the first fortnight of May – early varieties from the 2019/20 crop as well as fruits out of the ideal period from the 2018/19 season. Two plants of this large-sized processing plant were crushing oranges in that period, one in Araraquara and the other in Colina.

Bidding prices were around 18 BRL per box, harvested and delivered at the processing plant, lower than that observed until December/18 for mid and long-term contracts, which ranged from 20 to 22 BRL per box – with the possibility of a participation additional in the international juice market. At smaller-sized processing plants, in turn, quotes ranged from 14 to 20 BRL per box in the spot market – depending on both the processing plant and the quality desired.

For mid and long-term contracts, the purchases of oranges from the new crop have been occasional this year, with no fixed prices and deals closed between some of the large-sized processors only.

The citrus farmers consulted by Cepea are concerned about the effects of the higher production expected for the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) in 2019/20 on orange prices.

Higher supply estimates are based on the good development of orange orchards in all Brazilian regions, favorable weather in the second semester of 2018 (with mild heat and well-distributed rains) and the resume of investments. Still, greening should constrain yield at many orchards in SP.

Although higher productivity in 2019/20 may lower the unit cost of production, the new bidding prices are considered low compared to expenses, which may constrain the revenue paid to the growers who will depend on sales in the spot market. Concerning fruit volume, most oranges have already been traded, through contracts – either previously closed or closed in late 2018. However, a high number of farmers, probably smaller-sized ones, may have been waiting for prices to be fixed this year in order to sell their fruits.

THE MARKET IN MAY – Oranges quotes dropped in the first fortnight of May, pressed down by both higher supply and low purchases from processing plants. Between May 2 and 15, pear orange quotes averaged 23.03 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 34.5 % down compared to that in the first fortnight of April.

TAHITI LIME – The demand for tahiti lime was low in the first half of May, while supply continued high in the field of São Paulo State – due to the delay in fruit maturation in the first months of 2019. Between May 2 and 15, tahiti lime was traded for 17.20 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 26.8 % down compared to that in the first fortnight of April.

EXPORTS – In the international market, the demand for tahiti lime was firm, due to the higher quality of the fruits available. However, this year, the Brazilian exports of tahiti lime have been lower than in 2018. In April/19, shipments totaled 10.6 thousand tons, according to Secex, 9 % down compared to that in April/18. Between January and April 2019, exports were 20 % lower than in the same period last year.