In last Friday’s citrus production report, USDA left projected 2019/20 orange production unchanged for Florida, at 74.0 million 90-lb boxes (32.0 million boxes of early and midseason varieties and 42.0 million boxes of Valencias).
Fruit is generally sizing larger than last season. The November report did not include estimated drop rates and fruit-per-box for Florida oranges and grapefruit, so we’re left with October’s numbers. Early-mid oranges are expected to pack at around 308 fruit per box, compared to 335 last season, and see a drop rate of around 26 percent. Valencias are expected to pack at around 245 fruit per box, compared to 265 last season, with a drop rate of 28 percent—a bit higher than last season’s drop rate.
In late October, FCOJ inventory dipped at a faster pace than usual, although volume as of Oct. 26, 300.5 million pounds solids, was still 32 percent higher year over year. Strong late-season 2018/19 FCOJ imports buoyed inventory in August and September, but the most recent inventory report reflects imports virtually drying up in October and 2019/20 pack starting slowly.
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