U.S. Citrus Processing Report

Ernie NeffProcessing

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In 2020-21, 57% of U.S. citrus was used for processing, and most of the processed fruit was oranges, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reported in September. Florida produced 81% of all U.S. oranges for processing, while California and Texas produced the remainder.

Florida and Texas had smaller orange crops for the processed market in 2020-21 compared with 2019-20. Florida’s production was 22% below last season, while Texas’s production was down 26%. California orange production for the processing market was up 8%, with an increase over last season of 44,000 tons of navel and early/mid-season oranges going to processing.

A total of 329 million gallons of orange juice were produced domestically in the United States in 2020-21, 27% below production from last season. This marks the lowest production volume of orange juice in over 50 years, excluding 2017-18 when Hurricane Irma reduced the Florida Valencia crop by up to 30%.

OJ IMPORTS AND EXPORTS
U.S. orange juice imports in 2020-21 (October through July) were up by 104 million gallons (30%) from the same period last season. This increase in orange juice imports may be due to slightly lower-than-average beginning stocks (417 million gallons), but also due to larger crops in Brazil and Mexico compared with last year. Brazil and Mexico remain the primary suppliers of orange juice to the U.S. market, accounting for 54% and 35%, respectively, of the orange juice imported.

U.S. exports of orange juice for 2020-21 decreased compared to last season by 10% (4.3 million gallons). Canada remains the primary export market for U.S.-produced orange juice, accounting for 70% of exports. The Dominican Republic and South Korea were the second- and third-largest purchasers of U.S. orange juice, accounting for 11% and 3% of U.S. exports, respectively.

GRAPEFRUIT JUICE
U.S. grapefruit production for the processing market reached the lowest level in 50 years at 151,800 tons, down 39% from the 2019-20 season (October through September). This decrease can be attributed to lower production levels in all major producing states, especially in Texas, which was hard hit by Winter Storm Uri.

U.S. import levels of grapefruit juice this season (2.07 million gallons) are down 58% from last year in the period from October to July. The primary suppliers of grapefruit juice to the United States were Mexico, South Africa and Spain.

Grapefruit juice exports are up slightly this season (3%) for the period from October to July 2020-21. The three top export markets for U.S. grapefruit juice from October to July 2019-20 were Canada, Japan and the Netherlands.

While grapefruit juice exports are up slightly from 2019-20 at 5.2 million gallons, they remain below levels observed previously in the decade, which is consistent with declining U.S. production.

See the full USDA report.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service

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