The world supply of orange juice has been decreasing in Brazil and in the United States. Although the consumption has also been reducing in major consumers (the US and the European Union), the supply decrease has been more intense compared to the demand, which is concerning regarding the global supply.

Since the peak in São Paulo and Florida, in 1995/96, the production has started to decrease in both areas. In SP and in Triângulo Mineiro, the decrease was less intense and lower than the area reduction. In Florida, in turn, production has dropped significantly due to greening and weather problems in some years, such as hurricanes and frosts.

In the 2023/24 crop, the citrus belt in both SP and Triângulo Mineiro may harvest 309.34 million 40.8-kilo boxes of oranges, according to an estimate by Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) released in September, 1.5% lower compared to the previous season. Although it is a crop with a very similar production to that verified in 2022/23, players are concerned with the high incidence of greening (Fundecitrus says that 38.06% of plants in the region has symptoms of the disease), and one of the major effects is the high rate of fruit drop.

Moreover, although the harvest estimated for the entire citrus belt is on the average over the last 10 years, the need of raw material from the industry in SP is very high. Orange juice stocks are reduced and the amount of raw material that will be available may not be enough for inventories to increase. As a result, the global supply scenario is concerning, since Brazilian shipments are firm, despite the possible new decrease of OJ stocks in 2023/24 (June/24).

In Florida, the orange production may be low for one more year. The USDA indicated in November that the 2023/24 harvest may total only 20.5 million 40.8-kilo boxes, being 7.5 million boxes of early and mid-season varieties and 13 million of valência. The number is considered low, but it is still 30% higher than the last crop, which was affected by two hurricanes.

Besides hurricanes, greening is observed in practically 100% of plants in Florida, which reduces productivity significantly and boosts production costs, leading the activity to be less attractive. This year, the productivity per plant is estimated at 0.49 40.8-kilo box per hectare – as a comparison, the average in SP and Triângulo Mineiro in 2023/24 is forecast by Fundecitrus at 1.83 box per hectare.


For more information:
Fernanda Geraldini
Cepea
Email: cepea@usp.br