Values fall 17 percent in spot market

Brazilian citrus plants are finishing the process for 2008/09 crop. The low quality of the fruit kept pressing domestic quotations down. Between January 30th and February 16th, average price of pera, natal and valencia varieties delivered at plants (spot market of Sao Paulo state) dropped 16.9 percent in Real, to 5.71 reals or 2.50 dollars per box on Feb 16th.

For next crop (2009/10), the second main national company, Citrosuco, will suspend activities in one of the three plants located at Sao Paulo state. The reason is the low demand of juice in the international market. The process of this industry will be concentrated in the other two units, however, the three regions will keep receiving the fruit normally. Due to this interruption, 208 employees lost their jobs in Bebedouro city (SP state). Citrosuco can reactivate the process in that plant as soon the company considers it is convenient.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reduced the Florida 2008/09 orange crop forecast by 2.5 percent, or 4 million boxes, to 158 million boxes. This decrease, however, was not linked to frosts that hit Florida's citrus belt at the beginning of February, once the report includes data until the end of January. Lower juice size and drop on part of the production are, at the moment, the main reasons for the crop reduction. The next report, which is expected to March 11th, should show recent negative frost impacts. (Cepea - Brazil)

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