Alico, Inc. has seen an increase in the price per pound solids for oranges from $2.25 to $2.58 so far this season. A significant reason for the price improvement is the continued strength of consumption of not-from-concentrate orange juice by retail consumers, the company stated.
Average pound solids per box were down for the fiscal quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2021. The pounds solids per box are expected to be lower for the season.
For the quarter, Alico Citrus harvested approximately 900,000 boxes of fruit, an increase of 7.6% from the first quarter of the prior fiscal year. The increase was principally related to the company harvesting a greater percentage of its early- and mid-season crop through Dec. 31, 2021, than in the same period in the prior year.
John Kiernan, Alico president and chief executive officer, said, “Our 2022 harvest season began in December, and unfortunately Alico is now anticipating a 12 to 15% decrease in processed box production with lower average pound solids per box for our early- and mid-season crop, as compared to last year.”
Alico anticipates harvesting a smaller number of boxes this season due to a greater fruit drop rate believed to be caused by disease and weather. The harvesting of Alico’s early- and mid-season crop was substantially completed prior to a freeze in late January 2022.
The company stated that strong demand for not-from-concentrate orange juice, combined with lower production from Florida, Brazil and Mexico, has decreased inventory supply levels at Florida citrus juice processors. That has contributed to the higher prices for citrus fruit.
The majority of Alico’s citrus crop is harvested in the second and third quarters of the fiscal year.
“Alico has increased its grove density within our existing acreage and planted approximately 1.5 million trees in these acres since 2018,” Kiernan said. “We remain confident in our strategy of increasing density and believe that the first plantings of these trees from 2018 should start to generate meaningful production in fiscal 2023 and support higher levels of production for their useful lives.”
Source: Alico, Inc.
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