Brazilian exports of lemon and lime hit a new record

Cepea, November 17, 2020 – Two months from the end of 2020, the Brazilian exports of lemon and lime this year are already higher than the amount shipped in the entire year of 2019. This scenario highlights that, despite the initial concerns, the Brazilian exports of lemon and lime endured the negative reflexes of the covid-19 pandemic. One of the factors that favored this performance was the strong dollar, which makes the Brazilian fruit cheaper and more competitive in the international market.


According to data from Secex (Foreign Trade Secretariat), between January and October, Brazil exported 105.4 thousand tons of lemon/lime, 16% more than that from the same period last year and 1% above the volume exported in the 12 months of 2019. In the first 10 months of 2020, revenue from exports totaled 89.8 million USD, 16% higher than that from the same period last year, but 1% down compared to that received in the entire year of 2019.


This month, Brazilian exporters have been watching the second wave of covid-19 in Europe, which once again implemented social distancing measures and lockdown in some cities. According to agents consulted by Cepea, citrus-purchasing countries have already reduced the trading pace, due to the closure of bars, restaurants, and local businesses. These measures should last at least until early December, constraining the consumption of lemon and lime.


Although some cancellations have already occurred, Brazilian exports remained firm during the first wave of the new coronavirus in Europe, which contributed for the overall performance in 2020. Besides, the social distancing measures during the second wave of covid-19 tend to be lighter than that in the first wave, minimizing the impacts forecast for exports.


The good exports performance this year has lowered supply in the Brazilian market. Considering that the harvesting is expected to step up from now onwards, if exports do decrease, domestic prices may drop.


BRAZILIAN MARKET OF ORANGES – In the orange market, the low supply of higher quality fruits continues to underpin quotes. Although temperatures decreased slightly and moisture increased in some areas in SP at the end of the first fortnight, demand continued firm. Thus, the average price for pear oranges in the fortnight closed at 36.52 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 17.5% up compared to that in the first fortnight of October.


The citrus farmers consulted by Cepea have been concerned about the effects of the weather on groves – many farmers have reported that the volume produced has been compromised, since some fruits have dropped down or burned.


HARVESTING PACE – According to Cepea collaborators, the harvest of late and early oranges may be lower this year. In 2019, citrus farmers reported fruitlet losses, and in mid-2020, lower flower settlement.


According to a report from Fundecitrus released in September, the orange harvesting of the 2020/21 crop had reached 25% of the total, less than the 35% from the same period last year. Fundecitrus highlights that the harvesting of the current crop began later, due to the higher concentration of fruits from the second flowering, steeping up from mid-June.


At processors, crushing pace has slowed down. As fruits ratio and yield have been lower than ideal, the volumes purchased are currently low.




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