Shipping: Keep an Eye on CA Citrus Quality; U.S., Mexico Avocado Update

Shipping: Keep an Eye on CA Citrus Quality; U.S., Mexico Avocado Update

DSCN9005While rain drenched California citrus isn’t having significant quality problems, that could change during the weeks ahead.  Meanwhile, here’s a look at avocado shipments from Mexico and California.

The bottom line is citrus growers don’t know what long-term effect the recent rains will have on the crop as navels and cara cara navels hit peak loadings.  Excessive rain and moisture can adversely affect low-hanging fruit on trees, so packinghouses are running a little slower to monitor spoilage.

Gold nugget variety mandarins and Ojai pixie tangerines — late season specialty varieties, also recently got underway by Sunkist Growers.   Additionally, California Star Ruby  grapefruit shipments are about to start.

While quality issues down the road are a question mark, more certainty is that the 2017 harvest will end earlier this season.  Instead of lasting until the Fourth of July, shipments will end in early June.

Total tonnage harvested in 2017 is expected to be 15 to 19 percent less than a year ago.

Southern California citrus, avocados – grossing about $4500 to Atlanta.

Avocado Shipments

Shipments of Mexican avocados through south Texas in February this year totaled about 135.1 million pounds (3,3375 truck loads), compared with 166.25 million pounds (4,150) shipped in February last year.
U.S. volume of hass avocados from all sources (California and Mexico) in March will total about 187 million pounds (4,675 truck loads), down from about 199.3 million pounds (4,975 truck loads) in March 2016.
Southern California avocados shipments have been delayed by rains this season, although the state’s volume is light compared with Mexico.  Only about 4 percent of total shipments in late came from California.
Mexico’s crop estimate has been reduced to 1.6 billion pounds (55,000 truck loads) and final estimates may be even less.
Mexico is shipping about 30 million pounds per week (750 truck loads) compared with normal volumes in the 40 million pounds (1,000 truck loads) per week range as supplies are quickly running out.
Still, Mexico is expected during the next six to eight weeks to ship between 27 million (675 truck loads) to 32 million pounds per week,

California avocado shipments should end its season with about 195 million (4,875 truck loads) compared to nearly 400 million pounds in 2016.  Larger avocado crops are often followed by smaller crops the next year.

California loadings could increase by mid-March and into April to 8 to 10 million pounds per week.  This would compare to shipments as high as 15 million pounds per week a year ago.

Imported Mexican avocados, tropical fruits and vegetables through South Texas – grossing about $2700 to Chicago.