U.S. summer citrus shipments are underway, with numerous items originating from California and the Southern Hemisphere.
California valencia orange shipments have with volume expected to be similar last year.
Limoneira Co. of Santa Paula, CA expects good citrus volumes this summer, reporting great quality with lemons and lemon specialties being shipped to both retailers and foodservice busineses.
The Wonderful Co. of Los Angeles reports summer citrus is a big part of it various year-round shipments with its 5-year average growth rate being 7 percent. Much of the increase is with mandarins, at 20 percent annual growth; limes, 10 percent; and lemons, 6 percent, Shiba said.
In Southern Hemisphere, Chile in particular focuses heavily on exports to the U.S. for its summer citrus, which ranges from clementines to lemons, limes, mandarins and navels. Exports started in late April.
Global exports of Chilean citrus reached 421,858 boxes — 6,707 tons — through mid-May, up 2 pecent over the same period last season, with 96 percent of this volume shipped to the U.S.; 3.6 percent to the Far East; and the remaining .4 percent to Europe.
During the week of May 13th, Chile exported 252,413 boxes, or 4,017 tons, of citrus, consisting of 93 percent clementines and 7 percent lemons. Chilean navels got underway at the end of May, with mandarins in early June.
For the U.S. market, the Chilean citrus season was just getting underway.
Through May 17th, exports of Chilean clementines to the U.S. totaled 402,395 boxes, or 6,373 tons, up 17 percent above the same date in 2018.
The East Coast accounted for a 76 percent share (304,364 boxes, 4,819 tons) and the West Coast, the remaining 24 percent (98,031 boxes, 1,553 tons).
Lemon shipments to the U.S. also began the week of May 6th, with 4,320 boxes (74 tons) shipped to the West Coast.
The Chile anticipates similar overall volumes of citrus in comparison to last year, with total volume reaching 350,000 tons versus 358,000 in 2018.
The biggest change is with clementine volume, which is expected to decline by 8 percent to 58,000 tons; This was not unexpected since Chilean clementine shipments soared 53 percent in 2018.
In 2017, Chile shipped 40,687 tons of clementines to North America, and this year, the estimate is 58,000 tons. That’s an increase of 43 percent in just 2 years.