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No Change in Orange Forecast

WASHINGTON - Dec 11/07 - SNS -- The U.S. all orange forecast for the 2007-08 season is 9.83 million tons, unchanged from the October 1 forecast but 29% higher than the 2006-07 final utilization of 7.59 million tons, according to the USDA latest crop production estimates.

Florida`s all orange forecast, at 168 million boxes (7.56 million tons), is unchanged from the previous forecast but 30% higher than last season`s final utilization of 129 million boxes. Early, midseason, and navel varieties in Florida are forecast at 81.0 million boxes (3.65 million tons), unchanged from October 1 but 23% above last season.

Florida`s Valencia forecast, at 87.0 million boxes (3.92 million tons), remains the same as the October 1 forecast but is 37% higher than 2006-07. Average early and midseason fruit sizes were the smallest ever measured in the month of November and are projected to be the smallest on record. Navel oranges are being harvested for gift fruit and fundraiser programs for the holidays. Arizona, California, and Texas orange production forecasts are carried forward from October.

Florida frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ) yield forecast for the 2007-08 season remains at 1.60 gallons per box at 42.0 degrees Brix, 3% lower than last season`s final yield of 1.65 gallons per box. Projected yield from the 2007-08 early-midseason and Valencia varieties will be published in the January Crop Production report. All projections of yield assume the processing relationships this season will be similar to those of the past several seasons.

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