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Frozen concentrated orange juice prices lowest in 16 years.

Frozen concentrated orange juice prices plummet under pressure of sharply expanded orange juice supplies in both the United States and Brazil, the world's major orange juice producers.

The United States and Brazil both realized larger orange crops this season. The March 1993 forecast for 1992/93 Florida orange production is 188 million boxes, up 34 percent from last season's crop of 139.8 million boxes. The larger crop combined with a record-high projected juice yield of 1.57 gallons (42 degrees Brix) per box, will likely raise Florida's orange juice production nearly 40 percent, from 811 million gallons (single-strength equivalent) in 1991/92 to 1,111 million gallons this season.

Orange production in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was estimated at 290 million boxes, 16 percent more than in 1991/92. Although estimated juice yields in Brazil were down slightly, frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) production was up 10 percent. Sao Paulo processes almost 90 percent of its orange crop into juice, which is mostly exported. The United States and Europe are Brazil's major orange juice export markets. Orange juice production is also forecast to increase in 1992/93 in several smaller producing countries including Spain, Italy, Mexico, and Morocco. The increases more than offset slight declines in Israel, Greece, and Turkey. These increases, combined with sharp growth in the United States and Brazil, will greatly expand world orange juice supplies.

Expanded World Supplies Push Orange Juice Prices Lower

The October 1991 Florida crop forecast (1991/92 season) was much smaller than expected, and orange juice futures prices for near-term contracts on the New York Cotton Exchange rose sharply in late 1991. FCOJ prices rose to average over $1.70 per pound solids in January 1992. Since then, the prospects for larger orange crops and juice supplies has caused FCOJ prices to fall, reaching as low as $0.67 per pound solids in February 1993, the lowest price in 16 years. Orange juice prices likely will continue low for the balance of this season as the Florida orange crop escaped damaging weather and freezing temperatures this winter. Prospects are good for continued expansion of orange production in Florida, as more nonbearing trees reach bearing age in the next several seasons. This expansion signals continued low prices through the mid-1990's.

Orange used for frozen concentrate, Florida, 1986/87-1992/93

 Orange and
Season Temple Used for Yield
 production frozen concentrate(1/) per box

 --Million boxes(2/)-- Percent Gallons(3/)

1986/87 123.1 96.2 78.1 1.51
1987/88 141.6 109.4 77.3 1.55
1988/89 150.4 113.7 75.6 1.54
1989/90 111.6 73.6 65.9 1.23
1990/91 154.1 104.1 67.6 1.45
1991/92 142.2 90.7 63.8 1.55
1992/93(4/) 190.7 133.1 69.8 1.57

1/Includes tangelos, Temples, tangerines, and K-early citrus.
2/Picking boxes weigh approximately 90 pounds.
3/Gallons per box at 42-degrees-Brix equivalent.
4/Forecast, February 1993.

Sources: National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA,
Florida Citrus Processors Association, and the Florida
Department of Citrus.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Frozen Food Digest, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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