According to Fundecitrus and its cooperators, the final 2021–2022 orange crop for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt in Brazil is 262.97 million boxes.
This final figure was 10.61% smaller than the initially expected volume published in May 2021, corresponding to a significant crop loss of 31.20 million boxes.
This was an “on year” for the alternate-bearing, with plants producing a larger amount of fruit. However, a sharp decrease in rainfall and more intense atypical frosts inhibited the growth of oranges and contributed to an increased early fruit drop and reduced the number of oranges at harvest. Under these conditions, the crop decreased 2.11% from the previous season, resulting in a small crop for Brazil for the second consecutive year.
Total orange production included:
- 47.16 million boxes of Hamlin, Westin and Rubi early-season varieties
- 14.85 million boxes of Valencia Americana, Seleta and Pineapple early-season varieties
- 74.78 million boxes of Pera Rio mid-season variety
- 96.59 million boxes of Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha late-season varieties
- 29.59 million boxes of the Natal late-season variety
Brazil’s prolonged dry spell turned out to be its worst drought in almost a century, with water shortages in practically all regions of the citrus belt. This severely impacted rainfed groves, which encompass approximately 70% of total orange area. Even irrigated groves were affected by drought. In many locations, rivers and reservoirs reached the most critical levels ever recorded, restricting water use for irrigation.
The average fruit drop rate for the season was estimated at 21.80%, the highest since Fundecitrus surveys started in the 2015–2016 crop season.
Water shortages led to reduced growth of fruit. The average orange weight was 143 grams (5.04 oz), which is 15% lower than in the
last five crop seasons (169 grams average). Fruit weight was initially projected to reach 157.5 grams (5.56 oz) at harvest.
The first forecast of Brazil’s 2022–2023 citrus season will be released on May 26.
See the 2021-2022 final orange crop report for Brazil here.
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