Cranberry Shipments; Port Manatee Signs Agreement

Cranberry Shipments; Port Manatee Signs Agreement

ManateeU.S. cranberry shipments are expected to be up slightly in 2016 with loadings beginning in early September.  Meanwhile, expect imported bananas and pineapples from Port Manatee to be available for decades.

About 8.59 million barrels are expected to ship this year, up from 8.56 million barrels in 2015 and 8.4 million barrels in 2014, according to an annual cranberry report from the USDA.

Industry leader Wisconsin should ship about 5.2 million barrels, up from 4.9 million barrels last year.  With the exception of some isolated hail damage, the growing weather in Wisconsin has been excellent this year.

Production in the No. 2 state, Massachusetts, should fall, from 2.4 million barrels in 2015 to 2.1 million barrels this year — due in part to drought in the state.

Production in New Jersey (which is mostly processed), Oregon and Washington also should be down from last year.

Del Monte, Port Manatee Agreement

Port Manatee of Palmetto, FL and Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc. has signed an agreement to keep its importing operations at the Port for up to 20 more years, which goes through August 2021.

The lease includes options for three additional extensions of five years each, according to a news release.  If Del Monte uses all options, the grower-shipper and importer could be importing fruit at the central Florida port until at least 2036.

Del Monte,has imported fruit at the port since 1989 and handles weekly refrigerated vessels containing containers and pallets of Central American bananas and pineapples.

For exports, Del Monte ships linerboard used in packaging and also handles other third-party containers and project cargos.

“We are very pleased to continue our relationship with Port Manatee,” Brian Giuliani, Del Monte’s Port Manatee-based port manager, said in the release. “The cooperation with Port Manatee is exceptional and has been vital to the growth of our business at Port Manatee.”

Del Monte has moved 8.7 million short tons of cargo through the port since 1989.

“Extension of Port Manatee’s long-term partnership with Del Monte demonstrates the mutual commitment on the part of our port and a most-valued tenant,” Betsy Benac, the port authority’s chairwoman, said in the release.

Del Monte’s Southeast distribution center at the port has become the company’s second-largest U.S. facility.