In the first fortnight of March, citrus sector kept focused on the development of 2009/10 orange crop from Sao Paulo state. Since September 2008, three blooming had appeared, according to agents. The last one, however, was damaged by adverse weather. Not considering this aspect, growers expect a production of roughly 280 million boxes.
Between February 27th and March 16th, pera orange upped 11.88 percent in Real, averaging 11.58 reals or 5.08 dollars per box of 40.8 kilos, on tree, on Mar 16th. For the fruit delivered at citrus plants (spot market), considering pera, natal and valencia varieties delivered at plants, prices averaged 5.00 reals or 2.19 dollars per box, stable in the period.
In Florida, the forecast for 2008/09 orange crop published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has contradicted what agents were predicting - they bet at least a small decrease. According to the USDA, the production will total 158 million boxes of 40.8 kilos, the same number released in February, even considering frosts impacts. The reason was an increase of 2 million boxes in early and mid-season varieties. For valencia orange, however, the production was damaged by frosts happened six weeks ago, reducing in 2 million compared to February. Concerning the blooming from 2009/10 crop season, the researcher Gene Albrigo from the University of Florida expects similar volume to the previous two years. (Cepea - Brazil)