The initial 2022/23 MY orange crop forecast has been released by Fundecitrus (an organisation maintained by citrus growers and juice industries) for Brazil’s São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt (top producing Brazilian states). Production for the 2022/23 season (Jul ‘22-Jun ’23) is forecast at 316.95 million boxes, 20.53% higher than the previous crop. This is a significant growth compared to both 2020 and 2021, whereby the crop was negatively impacted by adverse weather, including long periods of drought and frost. According to market sources, the fruit load is larger and of a high quality due to better climate conditions which supported crop development.
This follows the release of the final 2021/22 orange crop estimates for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt in April, at 262.97 million boxes. This figure was revised down from previous estimates (-10.61%) due to a significantly higher fruit drop rate than expected. Despite being an ‘on’ year for the alternate bearing phenomenon, crop losses were estimated at 31.20 million boxes due to reduced rainfall and erratic frosts which stunted the development of the fruit, causing increased early fruit drop.
The new forecast for the Brazilian orange crop is expected to be a key driver for global orange and orange juice prices, as Brazil is the top global producer. Brazilian oranges are largely used for juice processing; therefore, a production growth is positive for processors, as a higher proportion of oranges are likely to be earmarked for processing during 2022/23.