Florida Citrus Crop Estimate Takes Another Hit
USDA’s latest 2013-2014 Florida all orange forecast is at 114 million boxes, down 1 million boxes from last month’s estimate, and 15% less than last season’s production. The total includes 53 million boxes of non-Valencia oranges (early, midseason, Navel, and Temple varieties) and 61 million boxes of Valencia oranges.
“Everybody in the industry understands fruit drop has been an issue this season with our earlier varieties,” said Mike Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “So it’s somewhat encouraging we lost less than one percent off the estimate this month. Maybe we’ve found some stability as we move into our Valencia harvest.”
Grapefruit production was lowered by 1 million boxes to 16 million boxes. Both the white and colored components are reduced by 500,000 boxes, resulting in forecasts of 4 million boxes of white and 12 million boxes of colored grapefruit. Although size and drop components were final last month, a follow-up survey was conducted in February, which shows white grapefruit size continues near the minimum, and colored grapefruit size is the smallest in the series dating back to the 1968-1969 season. Results of this survey show both colored grapefruit and white grapefruit droppage is the highest of any non-hurricane season.
Tangerine production fell by 250 thousand boxes to 3.25 million boxes.
The projection for frozen concentrated orange juice remains at 1.61 gallons per box.
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Sources: USDA-NASS; Florida Citrus Mutual