Already at high levels, orange prices should continue on the rise in Brazil

Cepea, October 16, 2020 – Orange prices have been on the rise in the Brazilian in natura market this month – the upward trend of quotes has been observed since July. Although the share of late varieties is increasing in the in natura market, in general, supply is low, while consumption is increasing sharply, due to the current high temperatures in Brazil.


Between October 1st and 15th, the average price for pear oranges was 36.52 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 14.7% higher than that in the first fortnight of September.


Low supply, mainly of high-quality oranges, is expected to keep prices on the rise in Brazil in the coming weeks. Besides, estimates for a 26% decrease in the output of the 2020/21 crop should be revised, due to the drought and high temperatures in São Paulo State, which should reduce even more the volume harvested compared to the official estimates.


Data released in early October by the ABCM (Brazilian Association of In Natura Citrus) indicate that the 2020/21 citrus crops in São Paulo and in Minas Gerais States are, indeed, going to be lower. The drought faced by the sector in the major producing months hampered the development of fruits, which are small-sized. ABCM reported that, soon, the retail market and distributors may have lower supply of in natura citrus – or even a lack of products.


ABCM entrenches that the high temperatures and low rains between July and August damaged the fruits from the second flowering in the 2020/21 crop, which accounted for most of the output. In this scenario, agents believe that Fudencitrus’ next estimates, forecast to be released in December, may be revised down.


TAHITI LIME – Prices for tahiti lime skyrocketed in the Brazilian market in the first week of October, hitting 90.00 BRL per 27-kilo box. This scenario was linked to low supply and firm demand, which was favored by the payment of workers’ wages and the hot weather in SP. However, although the supply of higher-quality fruits is low, the availability of smaller-sized tahiti lime is higher. Besides, with the sharp price rises in the first week of the month, sales decreased in the second, pressing down quotes. Thus, the average price for this variety in the first fortnight of the October was 71.40 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 11.4% lower than that in the first fortnight of September.


EXPORTS – Tahiti lime shipments were firm in September, hitting the highest volume in all times for the month. The volume exported was also 50% higher than that shipped in September/19. This year (Jan. – Sept.), Brazil has exported 97.6 thousand tons, a record for the period and 12.4% higher than that exported in the same period last year.


ORANGE JUICE – The 2020/21 orange crop in Florida was damaged by the hot and dry weather, which constrained groves’ productivity. Thus, the American orange output should be lower, which may lead the country to import higher amounts of orange juice. This scenario may favor the Brazilian sector, since Brazil is the top supplier of orange juice to the United States.


Between Oct/19 and Jul/20 (2019/20 season), the USA imported lower volumes of orange juice: 38% of concentrated juice and 39.5% of fresh juice, compared to that in the previous season, according to the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC).


Although the Brazilian juice is losing market share to that from Mexico, the orange harvest from Mexico in the 2019/20 season (Nov/19 to Oct/20) decreased sharply, which may constrain juice production. According to the USDA, the Mexican supply should be 45% lower than that in the previous season, and orange juice production, 60% lower. Although initial inventories are high, juice supply should be 50% lower.


However, it is worth to mention that the crops from São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro should also be lower in 2020/21. According to a report from Fundecitrus released last month, the harvest in the Brazilian citrus belt should total 286.72 million boxes, 26% down compared to that in the previous season. This volume may decrease even more because of the drought in this region in the past months, which may even reduce supply in the 2021/22 season.




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