Most of the oranges grown in the state are not destined to be eaten in Brazil. They're intended to be drunk, as orange juice, in countries all over the world, in the form of frozen concentrated orange juice and not-from-concentrate orange juice. Brazil is by far the dominant exporter of orange juice in the world and it's position as the number one exporter is unlikely to be challenged soon. In 2010 Brazil exported 1,240,000 metric tons of juice. The number two exporter, the United States, exported just over one-tenth as much juice, only 155,000 tons.
This year's bumper crop of oranges combined with the sheer size of the harvest has created an unusual traffic problem in São Paulo - traffic jams (or marmelades?) comprised of long lines of trucks loaded with oranges stuck on the road, waiting for space to unload at the juice production facilities. These facilities cannot keep up with the volume of oranges arriving at their doorsteip and so the trucks and truckers are obliged to line up for up to two days before unloading their oranges. Production facilities are working around the clock, seven days a week and still cannot keep up.
|Trucks loaded with oranges awaiting their turn to unload|
The delays en route to juice production facilities means that when the oranges finally arrive, they are dehydrated and yield less juice. The delays also increase the cost of freight at the same time that the huge harvest has driven the price of a bushel of oranges to half of what it was last year.
Truckers, farmers, producers, and the other motorists who happen, just by chance, to get stuck in one of these traffic marmelades are all complaining - maybe there is some truth to the phrase "too much of a good thing."