U.S. pricing reflects greater orange imports from Chile, South Africa - FreshFruitPortal.com

U.S. pricing reflects greater orange imports from Chile, South Africa

High volumes of imported oranges in the U.S. market over recent months have been reflected in market prices.

Chile, which has shipped 96% of its oranges to the North American country, saw a 13% rise in volumes this year through August to a record 74,182 metric tons (MT). This marks a significant rise from the 2015 season when just 48,470MT were exported.

Meanwhile, South Africa, which ships a small proportion of its oranges to the U.S., saw a 22% increase in overall Navel exports through week 35 to 381,000MT. USDA figures show that orange arrivals from South Africa through August doubled year-on-year to 25,290MT.

The result of these increases from two of the U.S.'s key orange suppliers has been significantly lower prices compared to last year, according to USDA data.

For South Africa, prices started out at the end of June around US$28-29 for a 15kg box but decreased as the season went on. Throughout July, the prices were only marginally lower than the previous season, but in August the weekly average prices of US$14.30 were around 30% lower year-on-year and nearly as low against the three-year average.

By the first week of September, prices for South African oranges had fallen to US$13.40 per box - a massive 37% lower than 2017 and 13% lower than the three-year average.

Chile faced a similar situation, with average prices in July between 6-9% lower than 2017 and only slightly below the three-year average, dropping to US$13.60 by mid-August - also 30% lower year-on-year. 

For Chile in the first week of September, the average price was US$13.90, putting it 35% below last year and 25% below the three-year average.

While total orange exports from the South America country have risen by 13% this year, the total FOB value has fallen by 9% to US$61.1 million.