September 10, 2018 / 2:20 PM / 8 months ago

Brazil's orange crop estimate cut by 5 pct due to drought -report

SAO PAULO, Sept 10 (Reuters) - The 2018/19 crop of oranges in Brazil’s main producing belt will reach a lower-than-expected 273.3 million boxes (40.8 kg each), according to a projection from research body Fundecitrus released on Monday.

The estimate is 5.2 percent smaller than a previous projection from Fundecitrus published in May. The institution said it cut its view because of drier-than-normal weather in the producing area between May and July, which led to smaller fruits.

Fundecitrus said rain during that period was a cumulative 36 millimeters, or 73 percent below average.

Oranges that have already been collected in the main belt, comprising farms in the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, weighed less than projected earlier, leading to the revaluation of production released this Monday.

Brazil is the world’s largest producer and exporter of orange juice. Harvest in the current cycle reached 36 percent of the area by now, compared with 34 percent at this time last year, said Fundecitrus.

Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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