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World orange crop slumps

World orange crop slumps, Source: USDA FAS

 

The world’s total orange production for the 2019/20 season is projected to drop 11% to 47.5 million tons due to unfavourable growing conditions in Brazil, Egypt, the European Union, and Morocco, according to USDA data.  As a result, consumption, fruit for processing, and fresh exports are also expected to plummet.

Brazil’s production is forecast to fall 22% to 15.1 million tons due to weather-related problems (warm temperatures and below-average rainfall after the first two blooms and fruit set). Oranges for processing are down 3.9 million tons to 10.4 million, while fresh orange consumption is lowered to 4.7 million tons, the lowest in 4 years. 

In contrast, China’s orange crop is estimated to climb slightly to 7.3 million due to favourable climatic conditions. Imports are up 3% as consumer demand is rising for premium, high-quality oranges.  Egypt and South Africa are the top suppliers to China, accounting for over 70% of imports.

US production is forecast to rise for the second consecutive year, albeit only by 1% to 4.9 million tons. Consumption, exports, and fruit for processing are all expected to be up in line with the larger crop.

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Global orange production falls by 4 million tons

Global production continues 20 years

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.