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Brazilian 2018-19 export season still lagging behind

The Brazilian exports of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice Equivalent in the 2018/19 season are ending, but the volume shipped to all destinations is still low. The month of May was the ninth consecutive month of lower sales.

The scenario, which was already expected by agents, is linked to the lower orange production in the Brazilian citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) this season, as well as lower demand from the international market, mainly the United States. The exports decrease, in turn, prevents orange inventories of Brazilian processing plants from decreasing to critical levels by the end of the season.

This season (July/18 to May/19), Brazilian juice exports to all destinations have decreased 18% compared to the same period in the 2017/18 season, totaling 918.46 thousand tons, according to Secex. Revenue, in turn, has dropped 17%, totaling 1.69 billion USD.

Exports to the European Union, the biggest purchaser of the Brazilian juice, totaled 592 thousand tons, 8% down compared to that in the same period last year. Revenue, in turn, totaled 1.09 billion USD, 6% down in the same comparison.

Shipments to the United States had the steepest decrease in the season, of 38% compared to the previous crop, totaling 190.71 thousand tons of juice. This result is linked to the lower demand from the USA, due to the estimates for the recovery of the 2018/19 crop from Florida as well as lower consumption. Revenue, in turn, dropped 39% in the same comparison, totaling 331.55 million USD.

According to a report released by the USDA on June 11, the orange crop from Florida should increase by 58.4% compared to the previous, totaling 71.4 million boxes (1.3% down compared to that forecast in May).

An article on cepea.esalq.usp.br claims that despite the decrease in the consumption of orange juice in the United States, the demand from the country for the Brazilian orange juice may not decrease too sharply in the coming seasons, due to the effects of greening on American crops in the long term.

Brazilian market
The trading pace was slow in the Brazilian citrus market in the first fortnight of June. However, the volume of oranges at the ideal stage for the natural market was gradually decreasing in São Paulo, due to the increase in the deliveries to processing plants. Thus, between June 3 and 14, pear orange quotes averaged 18.08 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 21.5% down compared to that in the first half of May.

As for tahiti lime, despite the large volume available for harvesting, the current weather allows the fruits to stay on tree for longer. Thus, growers reduced the pace of activities in the field, aiming to prevent prices from dropping too much. In the first half of June, tahiti lime quotes averaged 13.65 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, a slight 20.6% down compared to that in the first fortnight of May.

Exports
Lemon and lime shipments were positive in May, surpassing, for the first time in the year, the amount exported in 2018. Last month, exports hit a record (revenue and volume) in all Secex series, which started in 1997.

According to Brazilian exporters consulted by Cepea, as the weather delayed the maturation of tahiti lime crops in SP, shipments decreased from March to April, increasing again in May. According to data from Secex, Brazil exported 18.94 thousand tons of lemon and lime in May, almost two-fold the amount shipped in May 2018 and 57% more than that exported in April/19.


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