USDA: 2018-19 citrus forecast drops in April, but remains up on last year

April 10 , 2019

April’s USDA forecast for production of a number of U.S. citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos, shows lower figures than March’s estimate for the 2018-19 season.

These reduced numbers are mainly due to expectations of slightly lower production in Florida across the board.

Starting with oranges, last month’s forecast showed volumes of all variants increasing from last year’s drastic drop in numbers, (down 26 million boxes from the 2016-17 harvest), by almost 37 million boxes.

Yet April’s figures cut this predicted 29% yearly increase with slightly less hopeful data, reporting the national production total will likely be two million boxes fewer than March’s number. 

What’s more, calculations for Florida orange production demonstrate production dropping here the most, with 500,000 fewer boxes than last month’s predictions. 

Forecasted grapefruit production figures from March were also up from last year’s numbers by over three million boxes, but this number was also reduced country-wide in April, though by much less (only 500,000 boxes).

Here, Florida was the only state affected by the new month’s projections. Estimates for harvests in California and Texas for the current year remain the same. 

Meanwhile, April’s forecast for tangerine and tangelo production across the U.S. stood out as the only outlier of Florida’s citrus trend.

The projected national figure for this month fell one million boxes from March’s, but the estimate for Florida’s production remains the same. The entire one-million-box decrease is expected to be attributed to California. 

Overall, however, the USDA predicts tangerine and tangelo production will still be up three million boxes from the 2017-18 season. 

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