On Feb. 10, Fundecitrus and its cooperators released an update to Brazil’s 2020–2021 orange crop forecast. The forecast is now 269.01 million boxes, down slightly from the 269.36 million boxes forecast in December.
While production of the Pera Rio variety increased 3.74 percent to 81.83 million boxes, Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha production decreased 2.8 percent to 91.72 million boxes. Natal oranges declined 1.87 percent to 34.61 million boxes. The forecast for all other varieties, including Hamlin, Westin and Rubi, was unchanged.
This third update of the season represents an expected crop size 6.52 percent lower than the initial estimate of the 2020–2021 season. In comparison to the previous season, the reduction is 30.45 percent, the worst decline seen in all years in which the crop also withstood the physiological effects of the negative biennial bearing. The loss is due to the severity of climatic conditions experienced this season.
Production losses due to orange trees that died from drought before harvest have not yet been included in the forecast. The number of dead trees and fruit unharvested is being determined and will be presented in the final crop estimate of the season on April 12.
Average fruit size remains at 261 fruits per box, meaning each orange should weigh an average of 156 grams, which is 8 percent below the average for the last five crop seasons.
Harvest of early varieties is complete, with average fruit size corresponding to projections. Overall, 81 percent of the crop has been harvested.
The projected fruit drop rate that was already the highest since 2015, the year when the crop forecast survey started, rose slightly from 21.10 to 21.20 percent. The increase is due to the fruit drop rate for the late variety Natal.
See the full forecast update for Brazil’s orange crop here.