Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) economist Marisa Zansler recently broke down the expected utilization of the 57 million boxes of oranges Florida is forecast to produce in the 2020-21 season. She also offered projections for utilization of grapefruit and specialty fruit, and made other economic projections in her outlook for the season.
About 96 percent of the orange crop is projected to be processed as juice, with 44.65 million boxes going to not-from-concentrate (NFC) OJ and 10 million boxes going to frozen concentrated OJ (FCOJ). An estimated 322.1 million gallons of OJ will be processed from the oranges. Imports of OJ are expected to increase due to this season’s decreased crop size. Two million boxes of oranges are expected to be utilized as fresh fruit.
Ending inventories of OJ are expected to be down significantly with 20.6 weeks of supply due to sustained consumer demand and lower beginning inventories. This breaks down to an estimate of about 17.5 weeks of NFC OJ ending supply and 29.5 weeks of FCOJ ending supply. These numbers may be impacted by different movement and import scenarios.
In retail, there are indications that consumers continue to shop with COVID-19 in mind. Since June, an increasing share of consumers are reporting buying more OJ to support a healthy immune system, and a significant share of consumers are buying more for “stocking up.”
The 2020-21 Florida grapefruit crop is forecast at 4.5 million boxes with 1.89 million projected to go fresh and the remainder to juice. Higher beginning inventories of grapefruit juice and reduced movement are expected to lead to a higher ending supply of 76.9 weeks.
The 2020-21 Florida specialty crop is projected to increase to 1.1 million boxes with 610,000 boxes going to the fresh market. Specialty fruit is in high demand at retail.
Moving forward, demand for Florida citrus will depend on the long-term changes in consumer behavior. Demand is currently at pre-2018 levels. Consumer awareness is key to long-term demand as the decline in production will lead to increased prices.
See Zansler’s full season outlook here.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
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