A small decrease is expected for Florida citrus shipments this season, while increases are projected for California and Texas.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates in its Jan. 12 report that Florida orange shipments will 71 million 90-pound boxes, one million less than expected in the USDA December forecast, a decrease of about 1 percent.
Loadings for midseason and navel varieties remains unchanged at 36 million boxes, but the forecast for the later valencia oranges is now 35 million, down about 3 percent from the earliered total of 36 million. These small changes are considered normal for season to season.
The good news is observers believe the citrus industry is gaining ground on fight citrus greening disease (huanglongbing) as new trees are now being planted.
The overall forecast of 71 million boxes of Florida oranges is 13% less than last season’s production.
Florida is projected to ship 9 million 85-pound boxes of grapefruit, off about 3 percent from the December forecast, with the expectation for red grapefruit steady at 7.3 million boxes and the outlook for white down from 2 million to 1.7 million.
The projection for tangerines and tangelos in Florida was up slightly to 1.52 million boxes from 1.5 million in the December forecast.
Southern and Central Florida citrus, strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $2400 to New York City.
California Citrus Shipments
California is expected to ship 53 million 80-pound boxes of oranges, up about 5 percent from the December forecast of 50.5 million. The state is expected to ship 44 million boxes of non-valencia oranges and 9 million boxes of valencia oranges. In December, the forecast was for 42 million boxes of non-valencias and 8.5 million of valencias.
The Golden State is expected to produce 4.1 million 80-pound boxes of grapefruit, up 2.5 percent from the December prediction of 4 million.
Forecasts for lemon shipments were down nearly 5 percent in California, from 21 million 80-pound boxes to 20 million, and down nearly 14 percent in Arizona, from 1.8 million to 1.55 million.
The expectation for California tangerines and tangelos was unchanged at 23 million boxes.
Southern California citrus, tomatoes and kiwifruit – grossing about $3900 to Chicago.
Texas Citrus Shipments
The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, should ship 1.45 million 85-pound boxes of non-valencias, up from a December projection of one million, a 45 percent increase. The forecast for 350,000 boxes of valencias was unchanged from last month.
The USDA projected Texas production will be 5.3 million 80-pound boxes, up nearly 13 percent from the December forecast of 4.7 million.
In the last 10 seasons, the January citrus forecast for the various regions has deviated from final production by an average of 5 percent, ranging from 15 percent below production to 10 percent above production.
South Texas citrus, Mexican tropical fruit and vegetables – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.