Supply of other fruits should constrain the demand for oranges in December

Cepea, December 5, 2019 – The upward trend of orange prices, observed along November, may be constrained in December. Although the availability of pear oranges is low, higher supply of other fruits, such as stone fruits – which are usually consumed during the holiday season –, may weaken the demand for citrus in São Paulo State. Besides, the supply of out-of-season oranges as well as folha murcha (variety very appreciated in the in natura market) should grow.


Growers believe that quotes may be underpinned starting January, based on the possible lower supply of late and out-of-season oranges this season, due to the fruitlet losses between December/18 and January/19.


PRICES – As regards pear orange, quotes increased in November, boosted by both the low supply of high quality fruits (due to the dry and hot weather between September and October) and the end of harvesting on some farms. Thus, even when demand was low, prices remained stable. In November, pear orange prices averaged 28.04 BRL/40.8-kilo box, 22% up compared to that from October.


The low supply of pear oranges also influenced the demand for the varieties natal and valencia. In November, the average prices for these varieties closed at 23.71 BRL/box and at 24.04 BRL/box, on tree, 11.5% and 17.4% up, respectively, compared to that from October. Despite the high price levels, late oranges quotes are still more attractive than that for pear oranges.


At processors, most oranges crushed are late varieties, with low amounts of pear oranges. In November, the price paid by large-sized processors for the oranges traded in the spot market was up to 18.00 BRL/box, harvested and delivered at processing plants. As regards crushing in December, activities are not expected to be interrupted between one crop and the other – even if the crushing pace is slower than that observed along the 2019/20 season.


TAHITI LIME – Tahiti lime prices dropped in the Brazilian market in November, due to the increase in the supply of small-sized fruits – many growers anticipated the harvesting, aiming to take advantage of the high price levels. Last month, quotes averaged 72.49 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, 13.3% down compared to that from October.


Supply increase should also favor exports, which had been at a slow pace since July, due to the price rises for tahiti lime in the Brazilian market as well as the low availability of fruits in the standard required by the international market. It is worth to mention that, despite the slow pace, the exports performance for the Brazilian tahiti lime in 2019 is considered positive, with record volume and revenue (until October) – the drought that hit Mexico, Brazil’s main competitor when it comes to exporting tahiti lime to the European Union, may also have influenced this scenario.


PERSPECTIVES – Cepea collaborators claim that, although the amount of tahiti lime on tree is high, supply should remain stable in the coming months, due to the harvesting anticipation. In this context, quotes should not drop significantly in December.


As regards crushing, activities are forecast to step up only in mid-January, but prices for this segment have not been estimated by processors yet. If the industrial demand is high again, as in the last two years, supply may be controlled in SP during the crop peak period, limiting price drops, which are usual for this time of the year.




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