The world’s orange production is set to drop by 4 million tons in 2017/18 to 49.3 million tons due to unfavourable weather conditions in Brazil, the EU, and the US. The fall come despite the marginal increase in the Chinese harvest. US production is expected to plummet by 23% to 3.6 million tons, less than a third of the 1997/98 level as a result of Hurricane Irma hitting Florida in September and destroying immature fruit. Citrus greening disease in Florida shows no sign of abating, causing unripe fruit to fall from the trees. Likewise, Brazil’s production is forecast to drop 15% to 17.3 million tons as the off-year cycle generates lower yields and the weather conditions resulted in poor bloom and fruit set. Despite the sizeable fall in output, the crop is actually larger than that of two years ago. China’s production is projected to rise by 300,000 tons to 7.3 million tons thanks to the good weather conditions. Meanwhile, production in the EU is expected to fall by 8% to 6.3 million tons due to the lower growing area and lack of rain. Elsewhere, Egypt’s production is expected to hit a record high of 3.2 million tons, up 6% from last year in line with the larger production area.
Mon 29/01/2018 by Richard Wilkinson