Orange oil is extracted by simple pressure from the outer coloured part of the Citrus sinensis' peel. Oranges are widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates for the sweet fruit and commercially for essential oil extraction. Other origins for Orange oil include Brazil, South Africa & Spain.
Orange oil is a by-product of the juice industry. Oil is cold pressed from the peel of the fruit, after juice extraction and is widely used across the flavour and fragrance industry. Sweet orange (citrus sinensis) is around 90% d’limonene, a product used across many more industries. Approximately 40% of global oranges are processed for juice and oil with 60% solely used as a fresh fruit for consumption.
Bearing acreage of orange in the USA is a particular worry as year on year the output has been declining. In the past 10 years it has fallen from around 770 thousand acres to 600 thousand acres today. Below are Florida's recent fresh fruit outputs, courtesy of the USDA, showing the significance of the decline.
|TYPE / SEASON||2011/12||2012/13||2013/14||2014/15||2015/16*|
|Valencia Type (1,000 boxes)||72,500||66,500||51,300||49,400||33,000|
|Non-Valencia Type (1,000 boxes)||74,200||67,100||53,300||39,500||36,000|
*2015/16 data forecasted by USDA at 9th February 2016
Orange production in 2018/19 is set to outshine the previous crop with an increased output of 4.2 million MT leading to an estimated global production of 51.8 million MT. As a result, fruit for processing will go up to an estimated 21.2 million MT this year. USA’s combined orange production from Florida, California and Texas is estimated at 124.09 million boxes.
Florida, the USA’s biggest orange-producing state and third largest orange producer in the world has been plagued by the dreaded citrus greening disease and hurricanes. The state, which once boasted a peak production of 244 million boxes in 1998, has dwindled by a mammoth 70% over the last decade. Citrus greening is fatal for the trees. The bacteria impact the vascular systems of citrus trees, hinder nutrient uptake and naturally, adversely affects yield, fruit size and quality. The cost of production also goes up. After concerted steps were taken to battle this disease, the industry has slowly limped back to normal. Despite weather setbacks, crop production this year looks promising with an estimated increase from last year.
The USDA pegs the total Florida orange crop for 2018/2019 to be 71.6 million boxes, a sharp upsurge of 26.55 million boxes from last year’s crop. Hurricane Irma coupled with citrus greening had brought down the last crop (which ended in July 2018) to 45.05 million boxes. This year, out of the predicted 71.6 million boxes, 30.4 million boxes are expected to be the early, midseason and navel oranges while the remaining 41.2 million boxes will be the Valencia variety.
Approximately 95% of Florida’s orange bounty is sent for processing. The 2018/2019 Florida total orange crop is somewhat reduced from the initial 76.5 million boxes forecast in April; it is still a significant improvement. This year will bring relief to several farmers who were struggling to come to terms with the massive, 75-year-low precipitated by Hurricane Irma.
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