Brazilian government studying providing free orange juice in country's public schools--as it's done in producing state of Sao Paulo--to offset excess production from two good crops, government official says

NEW YORK , September 6, 2012 () – The Brazilian government is studying providing free orange juice in the country’s public schools, as is done in the producing state of Sao Paulo, to offset excess production from two good crops, a government official said.

“Almost 98 percent of our production is exported, but we came up with an excess production from the last two crops,” Jose Carlos Vaz, executive secretary at Agriculture Ministry, said today in a phone interview from Brasilia. “It’s surprising that being the world’s largest producer, we have so little consumption in Brazil.”

“We expect an increase of 10,000 tons of oranges per year in consumption and we hope that in two years we can fully meet the excess offer with the increased demand,” Vaz said.

Orange-juice inventories held by the world’s top three producers tripled to 662,452 metric tons on June 30, an CitrusBr industry association said on Aug. 28. Stockpiles compare with 214,000 tons a year ago, CitrusBr said in an e-mailed statement.

--Editors: Charles Siler, Robin Saponar

To contact the reporter on this story: Mario Sergio Lima in Brasilia Newsroom at mlima11@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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