The first 2021-2022 orange crop forecast update for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt, published on September 10, 2021, by Fundecitrus is 267.87 million boxes of 40.8 kg each, differently from the 294.17 million estimated in May this year. The reduction of 26.30 million in relation to the initial expectation corresponds to -8.9%.
The main reason for this crop loss is the poorer rainfall regime constituting the most severe water crisis ever to hit Brazil for the last 91 years. The combination of this drought never before experienced by citriculture and successive frosts in July culminated in a gradual crop decline that has been seen as harvests progress and disclose totally atypical figures.
Field surveys also show results other than expected for this time of the year for orange planted areas yet to be harvested. In general, oranges are excessively small, and early fruit drop reaches one of its highest rates. These factors make production go back to the same levels of last crop season that totaled 268.63 million boxes, despite fruit load being 12.50% larger since this is an “on” year. In view of this data and the perspective of climate conditions remaining adverse until harvests end, fruit should present the most critical size and drop rate in historical data.
If this scenario is confirmed, there will no longer be an increase in this crop in relation to the previous season, estimated at 9.51% in May, but rather a smaller volume than the production in the last season (- 0,28%). This forecast update depicts the current snapshot and will be further updated on December 10, 2021, February 10 and April 12, 2022, to reflect variations that may take place as the crop progresses. Approximately 23.77 million boxes of the total crop should be produced in West Minas Gerais.
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