Overall citrus shipments from the nation’s three leading states are expected to be lower this season for various reasons.
California citrus shipments of navel oranges and lemons will be down this season. It also means lighter than normal loadings towards the end of the season, and perhaps shipments ending sooner than usual.
California is expected to ship 35 million boxes of navel oranges, down 11 percent from the 2016-17 season. While California lemon volume should remain about this same this season at about 20.5 million boxes, it will be lower than normal.
Southern California citrus – grossing about $8000 to New York City.
Florida Citrus Shipments
In Texas, grapefruit has received a lot of interest after Hurricane Irma significantly reduced volume from Florida. Florida will probably ship about 4.65 million boxes of grapefruit, down more than 40 percent from the 2016-17 season. Florida grower-shippers have had a tough time, with Hurricane Irma estimated to have caused at least $760 million in losses to the citrus industry there.
Shipments are down 40 percent to 55 percent depending on grove location. Quality also has been an issue due the hurricane winds that really beat up the fruit, as well as weakening the trees.
Imports from Mexico and Morocco have resulted in Seald Sweet of Vero Beach, FL filling gaps left by Florida citrus, and the company has been bringing imported fruit into its Florida packinghouse.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods of Oviedo, FL reports its orange volume is down an estimated 29 percent, grapefruit off by 65 percent and tangerines and mandarins plunging by 80 percent. Duda’s grapefruit shipments that usually continue into March, ended in early January.
Duda has an import program as well, including clementines from Morocco.
Texas Citrus Shipments
Texas grapefruit shipping estimates have been lowered from 5.3 million boxes to 4.1 million boxes. Shipments are ahead of estimates, with about 56 percent of the overall crop remaining to be shipped, compared to 68 percent the same time in 2017. Loadings by truck, however, should stay strong through the spring.
Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus – grossing about $3400 to Chicago.