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Orange Juice Concentrate Market Sees More Losses

22 Jan 2018

EU (Spain, Italy, Greece)


The new crop of OJC from Europe had started in November. The quality of the fruit is described as perfect, despite the visible reduction on the harvest due to poor weather conditions.




It is the worst crop of the decade. Due to the adverse weather conditions in South America & the impact from Hurricane Irma has resulted in a marginal shift in the global dynamics of the orange juice industry, which results to heavy losses. The initial forecast on Florida's 20118 crop is 54.0 million boxes, which is 21% lower than last season's final production.

The cold winter storm from early January 2018 has further depreciated the citrus crop yield and quality for Florida. Now, the orange juice market is largely focused on Brazil, the world's largest orange grower, which is expected to provide imports for the concentrated orange juice market that will boost supplies in the U.S.




Total EU orange production in 2017/18 is expected to fall 7.7% to 6.2 million tonnes, of which 1.3 million will go for processing, says the USDA. Spanish orange production is predicted to fall 11% to 3.2 million tonnes. EU orange juice production is forecast to fall 11% to 102 000 tonnes. EU orange juice imports in 2016/17 were 682 000 tonnes, of which 90% were from Brazil.




Continued wet weather in Brazil is causing headaches for the processors due to the resulting poor juice yields. It now requires 260-300 boxes of fruit to produce one tonne of concentrate, compared with 220-250 boxes/ tonne last month. Production costs, therefore, are climbing. The weather has also contributed to high ratios from the Valencia fruit at 18+ ratio. Fundecitrus have recently increased the forecast for production from the current crop to 385 million boxes from 374 million boxes, but analysts do not expect the increase to have any real impact in terms of the supply of concentrate. They say that any increase in the number of boxes will be offset by the lower yields – ‘bigger fruit, but full of water’. Around 80% of the bumper 2017/18 crop is now harvested and production is expected to wind up mid- to end- February. This time last year the crop was over.

Total Brazilian FCOJ production (65 brix equivalent) for 2017/18 is projected at 1.15 million tonnes, a 16% drop compared with the previous year. Total Brazilian FCOJ exports for 2017/18 are projected at 1.137 million tonnes, a decrease of 9% on the previous year.


As usual, trading activity was limited during the holiday period and this is reflected in the relatively stable pricing for both fruit and juice. Price directions in the near-term will be determined once producers analyze the uptake over the holiday period. Industry sources suggest there is unlikely to be any major change to pricing unless the forecast for the 2018/19 crop in Brazil is significantly lower than the current prediction from the USDA (see report in this issue) or there is a marked change to global FCOJ consumption.




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