Brazilian exports of not-from-concentrate orange juice (NFC OJ) have jumped 296% in volume over the past 18 crop seasons, reaching a peak of 1.5 million tons in the 2017–18 season. During the same period, exports of concentrated OJ declined 46%.
Concentrated OJ historically had accounted for the highest volume of shipments of orange products to international markets.
The increase in the international demand for NFC required changes in Brazilian companies, which were also impacted by shifts in the pattern of domestic consumption, according to Fundecitrus’ Citricultor magazine. Fundecitrus is an association maintained by citrus growers and juice manufacturers from the state of São Paulo to foster the sustainable development of the citrus industry.
The magazine reported that one company, Agroterenas, adjusted to the increased demand for NFC OJ by focusing on citrus planting and processing, seeking investment and promoting capacity building. The group chose to obtain its return on investment from ready-to-drink juice just two years ago. Director of Agroindustrial Production Ezequiel Castillo said the company stopped NFC production in the mid-2000s to focus on concentrate juice and the supply of oranges to large juice companies.
“In recent years, we have had to reinvest in this segment (NFC OJ) with equipment, logistics, tanks and team training so that our NFC could be as close as possible to the freshness and taste of the fruit in the groves,” Castillo said. Agroterenas anticipates around 10% of the orange crop will be used for NFC production this year. “We have seen a drop in the demand for fresh fruit in supermarkets and an increase in the demand for juice, especially NFC,” Castillo said.
Europe is the main destination for Brazilian OJ exports, with a share of 63.61%. Other leading export markets are the United States, with a 20.75% share; China, with an 8.3% share; and Japan, with a 3.5% share. Additional markets account for a 3.84% share.
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