Florida Orange Crop May Rise 4.8% as Yields Gain, USDA Says
Bloomberg Businessweek – October 12, 2011
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) — Florida’s orange crop will be 4.8 percent larger than last season, exceeding analysts’ estimates, as favorable weather aided the development of the crop, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
The state, the world’s second-biggest grower, will produce 147 million boxes of oranges in the harvest that’s just getting under way, up from a 140.3 million in the previous season, the USDA said today in its first estimate for the crop. The average forecast of seven analysts and traders in a Bloomberg News survey was 144.5 million boxes. A box weighs 90 pounds, or 41 kilograms.
“The weather has been good for the crop,” Fain Shaffer, president of Infinity Trading Corp. from Medford, Oregon, said in a telephone interview before the report was released. “They got plenty of rain, which helped the fruit size, and overall yields will be better.”
Orange juice for November delivery rose 3 percent to $1.6145 a pound yesterday on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. Prices have tumbled 20 percent from a four-year high of $2.0265 on July 19 as demand slowed.
Yields will average 1.60 gallons per box, up from 1.59 gallons in the previous year, the USDA said.
Florida’s orange harvest runs into July. Brazil is the biggest orange producer.