Economist Provides Brazilian Citrus Update

Daniel CooperBrazil, Economics, Florida Department of Citrus


Agriculture is the driving force in the Brazilian economy, and Brazil is a leading food supplier to the global market, economist Marisa Zansler told the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) at its last meeting. Zansler is director of economic and market research at the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC). She visited Brazil in August and provided the FCC with an update on the country’s citrus industry. The FCC serves as the governing board of the FDOC.

Zansler said citrus supports 200,000 Brazilian jobs, and the country exports $2 billion worth of citrus annually. She added that citrus contributes up to $6.5 billion to Brazil’s gross domestic product.

Brazil’s estimated HLB incidence was just 24% in 2021. But even at that relatively low level, it is the citrus industry’s biggest challenge, Zansler said. The country continues to have an increase in incidence of other pests and diseases as well, she reported.

Brazil’s economy rebounded in 2021–22 after economic setbacks in 2014–20, which included the impacts of the pandemic, Zansler said. Pre- pandemic real gross domestic product declined by an average of 0.3% from 2014–19 and dropped by 3.3% in 2020.

Brazil estimated in 2023 that it had 202.88 million citrus trees, largely the result of massive replanting efforts. In 2016–17, there was much new planting in the southern region of Brazil. Those plantings were made in an effort to outrun HLB that was spreading in other parts of Brazil, Zansler said. HLB continues to be a problem in those new production regions.

Brazil is projected to produce 309 million boxes of oranges in the 2023–24 season. Learn more about that forecast here.

While in Brazil, Zansler met with the Group of Consultants in Citrus. She said the non-profit organization founded in 1996 has 18 specialist citrus consultants. Most of the consultants are citrus producers.

Source: FDOC

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