There is good news for Florida citrus shipments as adequate volumes on most items are expected this season.
U.S. growers have been harvesting grapefruit and oranges for juices in high volumes while navels and tangerines were hitting the fresh market in limited, but increasing volumes.
The USDA projection for early, midseason and navel varieties in Florida is up 6 percent from October, at 36 million boxes, but down slightly from last season’s final shipments.
Some observers believe Florida citrus volume has finally bottomed out and is getting ready to increase again, although this could take five to 10 years. It was not indicated, but could this bottoming out be an indication the industry is turning the corner in fight citrus greening, which has been devastating Florida citrus groves?
The USDA has projected 2016-2017 Florida orange shipments at 72 million boxes, up 3 percent from October.
The USDA forecast of 72 million boxes was down 12 percent from last season’s final shipments.
The forecast of 36 million boxes of Florida valencia oranges for November was the same as the October forecast, down 21 percent from last season’s final volume.
Juice orange volume is expected to be substantially down the latter part of the season. Florida is expecting could Valencia movement as California’s valencia season has ended and the imported navel season has finished.
The Indian River and central Florida citrus regions escaped serious damage from Hurricane Matthew, which rolled along the state’s East Coast in early October.
Florida is predicted to ship 9.6 million cartons — 11 percent lower than last season and the lowest level in 50 years.
There has been a shortage of tangerines, although volume has been increasing in recent weeks.
Coming in our December 5th post, a look at Florida fall vegetable shipments.
South and Central Florida citrus and vegetables – grossing about $2100 to New York City.