(Feb. 11, 2:16 p.m.) Buyers shouldn't expect much change in price after the latest Florida citrus forecast, which reduced the state's orange production by 4 million boxes.

In its Feb. 10 forecast, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast smaller volumes of early, midseason and navels and valencia oranges from its Jan. 12 estimate.

Early, midseason and navels declined from 84 million equivalent boxes to 83 million boxes while the later maturing valencias fell from 78 million boxes to 75 million boxes during the same reporting period.

Florida’s total orange production fell from 162 million boxes to 158 million boxes.

Tangerines also declined, from 4.9 million boxes to 4.6 million boxes.

Grapefruit remained unchanged at 23 million boxes.

Kevin Swords, Florida citrus sales manager for DNE World Fruit Sales, Fort Pierce, Fla., said the report should have little effect on fresh pricing.

“There isn’t anything in there that will dictate any big fluctuation in pricing,” he said. “There still is a large inventory in the processing end for juice, so based on the economy and sales, even with the drop in the volume, it will still take a while to get through the inventories.”

At 185.6 million boxes, Florida’s total citrus production is smaller than the state’s 2004-08 201 million box average and considerably less than its 281 million box 2000-04 average.

Though only about 4% or 7 million cartons of Florida’s oranges go to the fresh market, 41% or 10 million cartons of its grapefruit and 57% or 4 million cartons of its tangerines typically go fresh.