Diseases also bring concern, besides drought

The dry weather has damaged the current Brazilian citrus crop (2007/08) - fruits are dropping from the trees. In this context, growers remain speeding up harvest activities of the 2007/08 crop, increasing the supply for citrus plants. Besides the drought, diseases like the black spot have also concerned the sector.

Due to the higher supply, prices dropped in the accumulated of the first fortnight of October. The pera variety delivered on citrus plant averaged 9.44 reals or 5.22 dollars per box of 40.8 kilos, 6 percent lower from Sept 28th. In the domestic fresh fruit market, the pera orange averaged 11.70 reals or 6.46 dollars per box of 40.8 kilos (on tree) on Monday, Oct 15th, up 10.3 percent over Sept 28th.

Regarding the Florida's 2007/08 orange crop, harvest activities have started little by little. According to the last USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) report, published on Oct 12th, the production in that state should total 168 million boxes, lower than the volume estimated by the consultant Elizabeth Steger and the Louis Dreyfus (one of the world´s largest orange juice trade house processors).

In this context, futures of frozen concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) upped 745 percent on Monday, Oct 15th, closing at 150.80 cents of dollar per pound at the New York Board of Trade (ICE Futures).

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