South Africa citrus is arriving at Philadelphia on the East Coast. Meanwhile, the latest Florida citrus crop report shows another decline.
Seven Seas Fruit of Iselin, NJ received it’s initial clementines the last week of May, is expecting higher volume for late mandarins this season as more orchards come into production, and is looking forward to its first arrival of navels the week of June 11th.
While initial arrivals will be light in volume, significant increases are expected during the last two weeks of June. Arrivals also will include easy peelers, cara cara oranges and grapefruit.
The USDA Foreign Agriculture Service Global Agricultural Information Network December reports South African citrus, soft citrus (tangerines/mandarins/clementines) production will drop 8 percent this season from last season because of drought.
However, exports to the U.S. have increased more than 10 percent each of the past four seasons, and should again this season.
South African clementines should arrive just as California is finishing, and navels should see a two- or three-week gap from when California navels end and South Africa gets into the market.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam has a statement today after the USDA released its monthly citrus crop forecast for the 2017-2018 season:
“Today’s citrus crop forecast is another reminder of the continued struggles of Florida’s iconic citrus industry since Hurricane Irma inflicted unprecedented damage last year. But thanks to the collaborative efforts of the United States Department of Agriculture, Florida’s agriculture industry and our elected leaders, a much-needed disaster relief package is on the way to help growers get back on their feet.”
The USDA’s forecast of 44.95 million boxes of oranges for the 2017-2018 season is 50,000 boxes down from the April estimate and 9 million boxes down from the 54 million boxes predicted at the start of the season. The forecast represents a decline of more than 80 percent since the peak of citrus production at 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Commissioner Putnam announced that Florida citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages. In February, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed a spending bill that included more than $2.3 billion for agricultural assistance.