The third 2022–23 orange crop forecast for Brazil’s São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt amounted to 316.23 million boxes of 40.8 kilograms each. That is 0.7% higher than the projected crop in December 2022. This increase is mainly due to the production of Pera Rio orange. Pera Rio’s harvest is close to complete with higher-than-expected yield.
The forecast was published Feb. 10 by Fundecitrus and its cooperators.
The heavy rains that occurred in the last two months could have further expanded the crop yield, since they contributed to the growth and weight increase of oranges. However, the highly frequent and intense rainfall also significantly intensified the premature fruit drop, offsetting the positive effect of weight gain. This was especially true for the late varieties, as most of these cultivars had not been harvested when the heavy rains started.
According to data from Somar/Climatempo, the average rainfall in the citrus belt accumulated from May 2022 to January 2023 was 880 millimeters, 10% lower than the climatological normal rate (1981–2010). Rainfall only exceeded the historical average in Triângulo Mineiro, which recorded 999 millimeters in the period (up 12%). In other regions, rainfall was below the normal rate.
The projection of the fruit drop rate increases from 20.1% to 20.8%, on average, all varieties considered. The drop rate for Hamlin, Westin and Rubi closed at 10.4%, For the other early varieties, the drop rate is 14.2%. The Pera Rio drop rate is forecast to go from 21.7% to 20.3%; and Valencia, Valencia Folha Murcha and Natal from 24% to 26.5%.
In mid-January, the harvest reached approximately 88% of total production, with around 38 million boxes remaining to be harvested with most fruit from the third and fourth blooms. The harvesting of the early varieties Hamlin, Westin and Rubi has already been completed, together with the other early varieties Valencia Americana, Seleta, Pineapple and Alvorada. The Pera Rio harvest reached 96% of completion; Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha, 80%; and Natal, 72%
See Brazil’s updated orange crop forecast here.
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