22 January, 2016-
The main forecasts aren’t good for the orange juice production this season.
- The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has dropped the forecast for the 2015/16 Florida orange crop to 74.0 million boxes, down 6.0 million boxes from the initial October forecast. If realized, this forecast will be 24% lower than last season and the lowest output since the production of 58.3 million boxes during the 1963/64 season. It has been unseasonably warm and dry over the past month in Florida.
- The forecast of non-Valencia production is lowered by 3.0 million boxes to 37.0 million boxes. Current fruit size is below the average and projected to be near the minimum at harvest.
- The Navel forecast, included in the non-Valencia forecast, is unchanged at 1.1 million boxes. If realized, this utilization will be the lowest in a series dating back to 1979/80 when separate Navel forecasts began. Current Navel size is about average and droppage is above the maximum.
- The forecast for Valencia production is also down 3.0 million boxes to 37.0 million boxes. Current fruit sizing is slightly below the average and is projected, at harvest, to be near the minimum recorded last season.
- Brazil: Juice yields for the 2015/16 crop in Brazil have not improved since last month due to recent rainfall. Yields of 230-270 boxes per tonne of fruit are being reported. Industry sources suggest it is probably too late in the season for the yield to improve now. The rainfall is one reason, but processors are now forced to run the immature late fruit along with the very mature early fruit. Poor juice yields are typical of a multi-bloom season.
For the previous nine seasons, the November forecast has deviated from final production by an average of 7%, with eight seasons above and one below. All references to ‘average’, ‘minimum’ and ‘maximum’ refer to the previous nine seasons.