Florida orange juice production is ramping up as growers begin to send fruit to the processors. Eight processors were open as of Dec. 3 and are starting to crush field-run fruit; previously, processors had been running eliminations from fresh-market packinghouses.
Although processors are reporting lower volumes than last season, 2017/18 processing got off to an early start due to the damage Hurricane Irma caused. For 2018/19, the November harvest rate reflected the average pace of recent seasons, and this season’s Florida orange production of 77.0 million boxes should lead to higher juice production than in 2017/18. However, cumulative 2018/19 FCOJ pack, at just 14.6 million pounds solids as of the end of November, underscores that this season’s juice production will still be low compared to just a couple seasons ago.
Weekly FCOJ pack
Source: Florida Dept. of Citrus
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