Brazil starts orange season, forecasts 36% rise in volumes

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Brazil starts orange season, forecasts 36% rise in volumes

Brazil is at the beginning of its orange season and estimates to harvest close to 400 million 90-pound boxes for its 2019/2020 campaign.

Vinícius Trombin, coordinator of the survey of crop estimation at Fundecitrus, told PortalFrutí that this volume would be 36% higher than last year's, which saw close to 286 million boxes.

What's more, it would also be up 21% from the average of the last ten years.

He added that Brazil currently has 400,000 hectares of oranges in production. And 97% of the oranges they produce are comprised of 10 varieties.

These include Hamlin, Westin, Rubi, Valencia Americana, Seleta, Pineapple, Pera Rio, Valencia, Valencia Folha Murcha and Natal.

The remaining 3% of the fruit produced is split between Washington Navel, Bainainha, Charmute de Brotas, sweet oranges without acidity, sweet lime and other varieties.

The official estimate concerning Brazil's orange season was published in May.

It indicated that the country would harvest 128.30 million boxes of the Valencia and Valencia Folha Murcha varieties.

Meanwhile, it forecasted the nation to reach 116.20 million boxes of the Pera Rio variety.

It also predicted Brazil would hit 76.97 million boxes of the varieties Hamlin, Westin and Rubi.

Yet it stressed there would likely be lesser volumes of the Natal variety and the Valencia Americana, Seleta and Pineapple varieties, at 47.67 million boxes and 19.75 million boxes, respectively.

Regarding the rise in Brazil's season's volumes, Trombin said it responds to a greater flowering. He explained that this would have increased the number of fruits.

Yet the industry isn't without its challenges. He clarified that the biggest difficuly currently facing the nation's industry is HLB, a tropical fruit disease that affects most of the citrus crops in the world.

Additionally, he pointed out that Brazil's citrus sector is especially focused on the juice industry. 60% of the industry's juice is destined towards Europe and 30% towards the U.S.

In that category, they compete with Mexico, South Africa and India, among others. However, Brazil dominates 70% of that international market.

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