Brazil's orange output to hit over 30-year low on disease, weather

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's orange production is expected to hit its lowest level in more than three decades in 2024/25, research center Fundecitrus said on Friday, as farmers grapple with adverse climate conditions and a citrus disease known as greening.


Brazil is the world's largest producer and exporter of orange juice, whose global stocks have been hovering around historic lows after four consecutive seasons of small crops in the South American country.

Orange juice prices were pushed to near record highs last year on the reduced stocks.


Brazil's main orange producing areas in the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais are set to harvest 232.38 million 40.8-kg boxes this year, Fundecitrus said, down 24.36% from the previous cycle.

That would be the lowest since 1988/89, when production stood at 214 million boxes, according to figures compiled both by Fundecitrus and orange juice exporters association CitrusBR.


"The number surprised us. Climate effects have strongly affected the industry," Fundecitrus head Juliano Ayres said at an event.

"For citrus production to remain competitive we must defeat greening - and we will," he added, referring to the disease, which results in stunted fruit. It's caused by bacteria carried in psyllids, or jumping plant lice.

(Reporting by Roberto Samora; writing by Gabriel Araujo; editing by Jonathan Oatis)