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.
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.
Brazil has the largest production of fresh oranges and also it processes more orange than any other country making it the largest producer of orange oil and d’limonene (orange terpenes) in the world. Harvesting can be almost 12 months of the year due to the widespread distribution of plantations, however it is unusual for any significant production during February – April. Therefore we usually consider May - December as a typical harvesting period.
Brazilian oranges make up for around 34% of the world market – approximately 17 million tons+/- from a global estimate of 50 million tons +/- of fresh fruit. The Brazilian state of São Paulo contributes around 80% of the country’s production figures.
It's been a challenging time of late for the world's largest producing country and they're forecasting a sharp reduction of 18.3% in the total 2016/17 crop. To read more about today's conditions click here.
You may have recently read in our Market reports details of the challenges faced by the industry due to Citrus Greening. Click here for more details of the global impact of this wide spreading disease.
The total Brazilian 2022-2023 orange crop is expected at 414.4 million boxes (M boxes), an increase of 15% over the prior season’s production. This is due to improved weather conditions which helped the groves to recover from the drought and frost conditions which occurred in 2020 and 2021. Most of Brazil’s orange harvest comes from the state of São Paulo and the western part of Minas Gerais. Those regions are expected to produce 317 M boxes, an increase of 20% over the prior year. One reason for the expected larger crop is the increase in irrigation in Brazilian groves. Irrigated groves now make up 39% of citrus land compared to 31% in 2018. Consumption is up slightly while fruit for processing is forecast 21% up with the jump in available supplies. Despite a forecast of a higher crop, the price of Brazilian orange oil is expected to remain firm because production costs in Brazil are higher by an estimated 27% compared to the previous crop. This is due to high fertiliser, energy, freight and labour costs, as well as limited supply since there is no carryover inventory from previous years and processors are still filling contract requirements from last year.
Brazilian orange juice production is forecast up 21% as a result of more oranges available for processing. Similarly, consumption, exports, and stocks are forecast higher with the rise in production. Brazil is by far the largest producer and is projected to account for nearly three quarters of global orange juice exports. The European Union remains the major destination of Brazilian orange juice, taking approximately 64% of Brazil’s orange juice shipments.
Graph 1 Orange production from 1988-1989 to 2021-2022 and 2023 crop forecast
Sources: CitrusBR (1988-1989 to 2014-2015) and Fundecitrus (2015-2016 to 2022-2023)
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