Historically Low Orange Juice Supply

Josh McGillBrazil, Orange Juice

Brazil’s São Paulo and Minas Gerais citrus belt has gone through four low orange production cycles in a row, the Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters (CitrusBR) pointed out in a recent report on orange juice processing.

orange juice

The association noted that orange production in Brazil’s citrus belt totaled 269 million boxes in the 2020–21 season, 263 million boxes in 2021–22, 314 million boxes in 2022–23 and a projected 309 million boxes in 2023–24. By contrast, the citrus belt produced 398 million boxes in 2017–18, 387 million boxes each in 2019–20 and 2012–13, 416 million boxes in 2011–12 and 436 million boxes in 1999–2000.

CitrusBR reported that droughts during the bloom setting period have impeded the crop from bouncing back to its usual biannual swing effect, alternating larger production seasons with smaller ones.

orange juice

Additional information in the late August report included:

  • Total oranges processed in the São Paulo and Minas Gerais citrus belt in the 2022–23 season were estimated at 265.2 million 40.8-kilogram boxes. Citrus BR members processed 243.9 million boxes. Close to 21.3 million boxes were processed by non-members.
  • The final estimated juice yield for fruit in 2022–23 was 280.58 boxes of oranges to produce one metric ton of frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ), resulting in 945,529 metric tons of FCOJ equivalent.
  • Global inventories of Brazilian orange juice, converted into FCOJ equivalent 66° Brix, held by CitrusBR on June 30, 2023, amounted to 84,745 metric tons. That’s a decrease of 40.7% compared to the 143,104 metric tons in the same period last year. “This historic low inventory has jeopardized the industry’s ability to serve the global customer base on a continuous basis with the highest standards,” the report stated. 
  • Hurricane Ian in 2022 brought Florida production down from 41.2 million boxes of 40.8 kilograms in the 2021–22 season to 15.8 million boxes in the 2022–23 season. The total loss amounted to 25.4 million boxes. This caused an additional 87,300 tons of supply to disappear from the world market.
  • The Brazilian orange crop for 2023–24 has generated fruits with good size development so far. The late maturation and increased acidity resulted in low Brix during the first months of the crop. A medium-low ratio and bitter notes above historical levels were noted.

See the full report from CitrusBR here.

Source: CitrusBR

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