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Ponkan tangerine season is near the end in São Paulo State. According to agents consulted by Cepea, only a few crops still have some volume to be harvested in early July. In most of the regions, production has already ended. Now, the in natura market from SP has been supplied by other states, mainly Minas Gerais (MG).

According to Cepea collaborators, the crop period (mature fruits) should last for two or three more weeks in that state. However, the fruits from the second flowering event have not been harvested yet. Thus, farmers estimate production to continue until September.

As for quality, agents have reported that fruit growth in MG was hampered by the weather, since it has not rained significantly in that region since April. Thus, ponkan tangerine from that state are mid-sized.

SP – As expected by agents, the harvested volume of ponkan tangerine in São Paulo State is smaller this year. While in 2017 supply lasted for seven months, this year, availability is already low – June is the fourth production month and the crop peak occurred between April and May.

However, the available volume decreased in late May, since some farmers from SP reported fruit losses during truckers’ strike, due to the long period on trucks and higher sensibility of that variety (which was already more mature than oranges).

Prices for ponkan tangerine in 2018 are above the monthly averages last year (from March to June). Lower supply this year, in turn, is linked to unfavorable weather during the development of the fruits, in the second semester of 2017, and the lower vigor of plants, after a large crop last year.

In general, production was low in the last years, with well-distributed crops, no crop peak and not lasting longer than four months. The 2017 season was atypical, due to the different development stages of the fruits at groves, which allowed the harvesting to last longer than in previous years.

In June, supply decreased and prices rose in São Paulo. According to Cepea collaborators, the demand for ponkan was firm in that period – higher than for other citrus varieties. Thus, from June 1 to 20, quotes for ponkan tangerine averaged 36.80 BRL per 27-kilo box, on tree, 10% up compared to that in May (2 – 30).

ORANGE – In June, orange prices were underpinned by low supply of fruits at the ripening stage required by the in natura market. Moreover, the industrial demand is already stepping up, reducing supply in the spot market from São Paulo.

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.