Rains and hot weather accelerate fruits’ maturation

Besides hamlin (early variety), some citrus growers of Sao Paulo state have already started harvest activities of mid-season varieties and tangerines during last weeks. Fruits are being harvesting before the normal period. The acceleration is related to the higher temperatures and to the rainfalls from December last year until February. In this context, the maturation of lots of fruits was advanced.

Trades, however, keep moving slowly, since the fruit did not reach the ideal point yet. This Thursday, hamlin averaged 14.28 reals or 6.80 dollars per box of 40.8 kilos, on tree, decrease 2 percent in Real in the accumulated of the month.

In the spot orange market, Brazilian prices averaged 15.50 reals or 7.38 dollars per box of 40.8 kilos in February, a record value by the fourth consecutive month, in nominal terms.

In Florida, the 2006/07 crop was reduced in 8 million boxes, according to the last USDA report. Even with the decrease, orange juice futures did not move up at the New York Board of Trade (Nybot). That is because players bet on a higher diminution on the production, superior than 10 million boxes.

The Florida crop was revised to 132 million boxes. It is the lowest orange production in that state since the 1989/90 season. The reason for the decrease on the USDA forecast is the number of trees in Florida for both early and mid-season varieties below from those estimated previously.

At the Nybot, frozen concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) prices dropped from 208.2 cents of dollar, before USDA estimative, to 197.2 cents of dollar this Wednesday, down 11 cents of dollar.

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