California avocados are dropping from the trees because of triple digit temperatures that have been common since early July….Meanwhile, imported Chilean mandarin volume has have increased nearly five-fold during the past six years.
Some temperatures have hit 115 degrees F. For example, Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc. of Fallbrook, CA reports avocado groves in San Diego County’s Pauma Valley and Temecula have suffered from the heat. As a result, fruit drop resulting from the heat is expected to cut avocado shipments and possibly increase the price of California avocados in late summer marketed in August, particularly after Labor Day.
The 2019 avocado season could also suffer from this year’s weather, particularly with potential tree damage.
In the southern growing regions of San Diego and Riverside counties, the harvest was about 85 percent finished when the early July heat hit groves. To date, California growers have harvested about 300 million pounds of fruit. Most of the remaining crop is in cooler areas, north and toward the coast.
California’s avocado shipments this season was originally estimated to be 350 million pounds, but some observers have lowered their estimate to 320 million or less.
Shipments of about 13 million pounds per week in early July faded to 10 million pounds by mid-July. California avocado shipments are now dropping sharply.
Imports of Peruvian avocados began arriving in peak volumes in early August and supplies from Mexico are also available.
The first shipments of Chilean mandarins arrived by boat at U.S. ports in late July with 64 tons on the East Coast and 21 tons for Canada.
Although this season got off to a slower start than last year, Chile expects to ship a record 101,000 tons of mandarins to North America this year, a 32 percent over last year. In 2012 Chile exported 22,000 tons of mandarins. Today, the Chilean mandarin industry has become the main supplier of easy peelers to North America.