Global 2018/19 orange production seen up 4.2 million tonnes – USDA

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Global orange production for 2018/19 is forecast to expand 4.2 million metric tons (tons) from the previous year to 51.8 million as favuorable weather leads to larger crops in Brazil and the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, adding that consequently, fruit for both fresh and processing uses is expected to be greater.

Fresh exports are forecast 4 percent higher to 5.1 million tons, it said in a report.

Brazil’s production is forecast to rise 13 percent to 17.8 million tons as favourable weather is expected to result in good bloom and fruit set. Fresh orange consumption and exports are flat while oranges for processing are up 2.0 million tons to 12.8 million.

China’s production is projected down slightly to 7.2 million on unfavourable weather, resulting in a smaller crop in Jiangxi province. Along with only a small increase in imports, consumption is lower on overall reduced supplies. South Africa and Egypt are the top two suppliers, accounting for 60 percent of imports.

U.S. production is forecast to recover, jumping 41 percent to 5.0 million tons due to favorable weather. Orange production in Florida has been declining for years due to citrus greening, which has decimated groves and increased costs for crop maintenance.

However, last year, the industry also suffered from damages caused by Hurricane Irma. This year’s higher forecast shows a recovery to recent-year levels, the USDA said.

Exports, consumption, and fruit for processing are all higher with the larger crop, it added.

Production in the European Union is forecast to rise 4 percent to 6.5 million tons due to favorable weather in Spain and Portugal that facilitated good flowering and fruit set. Imports are flat while oranges for processing and fresh consumption are both higher on greater supplies.

Egypt’s production is forecast at a record 3.4 million tons, up 10 percent from last year on expanding area and extended seasons by shifting back harvest dates due to long hot summers. Exports are projected 60,000 tons higher to a record 1.6 million on greater supplies, accounting for 30 percent of global trade.

Top export markets include the European Union, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine. South Africa’s production is expected to rise 5 percent to 1.6 million tons due to favorable weather and expanded area. Exports are forecast at a record 1.3 million tons and account for 25 percent of global trade.

The European Union remains the top export market followed by China and Russia. Mexico’s production is projected up 100,000 tons to 4.6 million, which is expected to boost fruit used for processing.

Morocco’s production is forecast 18 percent higher to a record 1.2 million tons on favourable weather. Exports and consumption are also forecast higher on greater supplies.

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