Fundecitrus’s revised production forecast puts orange production out of Brazil’s citrus belt at 275.7 million 40.8-kg boxes. The estimate represents an increase of 1 percent from the September forecast, and the change is attributed to larger sizing of late-season oranges, which will offset higher drop rate caused by some episodes of poor weather during December. Valencia production is now projected at 99.2 million boxes, up 2 percent from the September estimate. Brazil’s citrus belt continues to see mostly beneficial warm weather; trees in dryer western regions are supported by good subsoil moisture levels.
FCOJ stocks are still anticipated to be tight by the end of June, however, and processors are seeing steady pricing for fruit this season. As of mid-January, processors were paying around 22 reals per box in the spot market, according to CEPEA, up 25 percent from January 2018 but nearly 4 reals less than pricing from two years ago.