W20: Orange Update

Published May 25, 2023
W20: Orange Update

In W20 in the orange landscape, it was reported that the price of navel oranges in Spain has increased by 180% YoY. Navel orange prices are 52% higher YoY and 39% more than average at the PO/central outlet. Spanish easy peelers have also seen a recovery of 4.2%, placing them 44.1% above the previous year and 35.5% above the average. Spanish lemons have also seen a notable price increase due to the generalization of the Verna type. As for California's Navel orange season, it started out with challenges due to rain between December 2022 and February 2023. The price of the small navel oranges decreased due to the rain, but after two to three weeks, the selling price of smaller navel oranges began to rise. In W20, the large fruits have a high supply and a fair price, while the small navel oranges are selling for a reasonable price. The global supply of orange juice has drastically decreased due to the spread of citrus greening and unfavorable weather in Brazil and Europe. Consumers must be ready for price increases due to the scarcity and rising costs of raw materials. Poor harvests and a declining supply of orange juice concentrate in Brazil are also contributing to the price increase.

The latest USDA orange crop projection is currently at 15.7M boxes, 62% less than the harvest from the previous season, indicating that orange production will decline significantly in the 2022/23 season, with a 25% drop from the end use of the 2021/22 season. Non-Valencia orange production is expected to rise slightly to 6.15M boxes, while grapefruit production is projected to reach 1.80M boxes. Tangerines and tangelos are unchanged at 500K boxes. Hurricanes Ian and Nicole have further exacerbated the situation, leading to the worst citrus harvest since the Great Depression. In addition, the all-orange forecast for Florida is down 3% from the previous forecast and 62% below last season's production. Different orange varieties are forecasted differently, with early, mid-season, and Navel varieties having a slight 1% increase and Valencia orange down 5%. Strategies to mitigate losses and impacts are needed. Southeast Brazil's citrus belt is expected to produce 309.34M boxes of oranges, a 1.5% decrease YoY due to rains, the negative biennial cycle, lower blooming, and greening. The average productivity estimate is 918 boxes per hectare, 0.6% more than the 2022/23 season. The supply of oranges is low and not enough to meet demand until the new season steps up. The EU imported 613,597 tons of oranges between September and April in the 2022/23 campaign, 22.4% more than the same period of the previous campaign and 9.8% more than the average. Prices for Egyptian oranges have dropped due to recent cold fronts in Brazil and which reduced demand. Egyptian Valencia oranges were priced at USD 18.03/15kg (BRL 90/15kg) per box throughout the season but decreased to USD 12.02/kg (BRL 60/15kg) per box in W20.

As for Vietnam, the farmers in Tra Vinh province had to harvest oranges and sell them at a low price for USD 0.085-0.17/kg, leading to heavy losses. Prices of other citrus fruits, mangoes, and pomelos have also decreased. Lastly, the Himachal Pradesh government in India has proposed to cover 1.8Kha of land for orange production under the HP Subtropical Horticulture, Irrigation and Value Addition (SHIVA) project. This is a key initiative to gain technical knowledge from Australia and guide local horticulturists to improve the sector.

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