Imports of Chilean fruit are seen as looking good in the new season. Meanwhile, a California shipper plans a big increase in it Sumo citrus loadings.
Among Chilean fruit imports expected to have strong volume destined for the U.S. are blueberries, lemons and citrus.
The Chilean fruit 2017-18 shipping season hit record levels for exports because of near perfect growing conditions. While the 2018-19 shipping season is also expected to be strong, volume is predicted to be down about 5 percent from 2017-18’s 110,000 metric tons. Organic exports are forecast to make up about 10 percent of the total volume.
Chilean blueberries are seen as having strong imports by the U.S. Increases in U.S. imports are being forecast for citrus and lemons. The Chilean navel crop had a small increase, with volume up to 99,000 metric tons over last season’s 84,000 metric tons. Of note is the U.S. imports about 90 percent of that volume.
The easy-peeler category was launched by clementines last May and W. Murcotts in July. Clementine volume was up about 40 percent, to 61,000 metric tons, and the W. Murcott crop saw an increase of around 30 percent to 110,000 metric tons.
Since the U.S. and Chile have opposite seasons, the later has the ability of exporting produce items when the U.S. is either out of season, or at low production.
We’ll soon be having an update on Chile’s biggest volume produce export item, table grapes.
Sumo Citrus Shipments
Suntreat of Lindsay, CA will have larger volume from the west coast this season with its Sumo citrus. Suntreat, which is a division of AC Foods, handles Sumo from Australia between mid-September and mid-October. This is followed by California’s Sumo season which ships product from January into April.
The Sumo, is a large mandarin developed in Japan, and is related to the orange family. The Sumo is an exclusive citrus varietal for the company. AC Foods expects to experience significant growth this year, shipping about 5 million, 5-pound cases.