More Texas grapefruit loads than usual are headed to the East Coast this season. Meanwhile, apples remaining in storages to be shipped remain significant higher than a year ago.
Florida grapefruit shipments have halted for the season, as much as three weeks ahead of schedule as volume declines continue, something that has been affecting all Florida citrus as citrus greening losses continue to mount.
Texas grapefruit shipments which have increased this season (by 10 percent) are now destined for some East Coast cities to fill the void left by Florida. Meanwhile, California citrus loadings are just getting underway.
Florida grapefruit acreage has plunged from more than 124,000 acres in 1970 to about 40,300 acres this past season. The estimated end-of-season shipments this season is 9 million 85-pound cartons, compared to 10.8 million a year ago and 12.9 million in 2014-15.
There were no quality problems with the Florida grapefruit that could be shipped, but there was a much lower quantity. The blame is laid on citrus greening and not weather. It’s the lowest volume in possibly three decades.
As for Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, grapefruit shipments have yet to be effected by citrus greening. Lone Star State Loadings should continue through mid-April.
California citrus shipments should be in good volume leading up to Easter, which is April 16th.
Texas grapefruit, and imported Mexican produce – grossing about $4200 to New York City.
Fresh apples remaining in U.S. storages as of March 1st stood at 69.7 million (42-pound) cartons, 12 percent more higher than last year and 8 percent over the five-year average.
Washington state accounted for 90 percent of the remaining apples, amounting to 62.7 million cartons. Red delicious storage apples totaled 24.4 million cartons, up 33 percent from 18.4 million cartons in 2016. However, this was down 16 percent from 29 million cartons from March 2015.