Brazil released its first orange crop forecast for the 2021-22 season on May 27. According to a report published by Fundecitrus and its cooperators, 294.17 million boxes are expected for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt.
The projected crop is 9.51% larger than the previous crop of 268.63 million boxes, but is still 10.53% lower than the average for the last 10 years.
Total expected orange production by variety in Brazil includes:
• 51.37 million boxes of Hamlin, Westin and Rubi
• 16.87 million boxes of Valencia Americana, Seleta and Pineapple
• 84.66 million boxes of Pera Rio
• 107.07 million boxes of Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha
• 34.20 million boxes of Natal
“The average yield in this crop is estimated at 850 boxes per hectare and 1.77 boxes per tree, as compared to 737 boxes per hectare and 1.55 boxes per tree harvested in the 2020-2021 crop season,” the report states. “The expected average yield per hectare has increased by 15.33% in relation to the previous crop … The groves of Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha stand out in terms of increased yield per variety, with an expected increase of 25.71% as compared to the previous crop season, the highest among all varieties.”
The average number of fruit per tree in May 2021, disregarding fruit drop throughout the crop season, is calculated at 639. “In general, the number of fruits per tree increased as compared to that in the previous crop, but in three regions there was a decrease: 16% in Itapetininga, 13% in Avaré and 6% in Porto Ferreira,” the forecast stated.
The projected average drop rate in Brazil in 2021-22 is 20.5%, distributed as follows: 12% for the early Hamlin, Westin and Rubi varieties; 12% for other early varieties; 22% for the mid-season Pera Rio variety; 24% for the late Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha varieties; and 23.2% for the late Natal variety.
“If this rate is confirmed,” the report states, “it will be the second highest in the historical series, just below the rate observed in the past crop, when the climate was extremely atypical. The main reasons for this projection are the climate forecast, which indicates accumulated rainfall below the average until October 2021, and the intensification of phytosanitary problems, such as the increased incidence of orange trees with greening symptoms in the citrus belt, which went from 19.02% in 2019 to 20.87% in 2020.”
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