Grapefruit oil is processed from the peel of the fruit and can come in a number of types determined by its colour. Red, white and pink varieties are available which are usually grouped as ‘white’ or ‘coloured’.
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and other nutrients and phytochemicals and is often associated with healthy living and diets.
As a flavour it is highly acidic and contains grapefruit mercaptan (a sulphur terpene) giving both a sweet, tarty and sometime bitter taste, somewhat different to most other citrus fruits.
The citrus industry in Florida has been struggling with the serious disease Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening. This bacterial disease causes green, misshapen and bitter-tasting fruit, and eventually kills the citrus tree.
Citrus greening disease (or Huanglongbing, abbreviated as HLB) is a disease common to citrus plants transmitted by insects. Historically it is more commonly found in China and Africa but was first discovered in Florida in 1998 in orange. It is a bacterium that can grow quicker in hot temperatures and will ultimately kill the plant/tree where the fruit is growing. In the mean time the plant/tree will bear multiple seasons of small fruits, many unsuitable for processing. There is no cure for greening so the disease is hard to control once a region is infected.
The table shows how HLB has damaged fruit output, which has in turn restricted the volumes available for processing, increasing prices in its path.
|Type / Season||2011/12||2012/13||2013/14||2014/15*|
|Coloured (1,000 boxes)||13,500||13,100||11,500||11,000|
|White (1,000 boxes)||5,350||5,250||4,150||4,000|
*2014/15 Forecasts as at April 2015
Over the last few years America’s citrus industry has been beleaguered by the dreaded greening (HLB) disease that has become the bane of citrus farmers. Among all the citrus varieties, grapefruit tends to be most adversely impacted by greening. the demise of grapefruit has been well documented, with Florida’s grapefruit production plunging drastically by 48% this year. The latest Florida predictions point towards a double-digit percentage drop month-on-month. The USDA’s May 2018 forecast for all Florida grapefruit production in 2017-18 is lowered yet again to 3.95 million boxes.
The white grapefruit forecast is 0.70 million boxes and the red grapefruit forecast is 3.25 million boxes. In the wake of these circumstances, the supply situation is grim with limited stock. Prices remain firm at their zenith, and are not expected to ease out in the near future. Rather, the market anticipates further escalation in prices; the outcome of this can only be a steady decline in demand.
Market prices USD 125.00 – 130.00 /kilo (White)
Market prices USD 115.00 – 120.00 /kilo (Pink/Red)
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