U.S. citrus shipments crashed big time in the 2017-18 season.
American citrus loads plunged to 6.13 million tons last season, down 20 percent compared with 2016-17 season, and a whopping 66 percent less than the record high production of 17.8 million tons in 1997-98, according to the USDA.
Total fresh U.S. citrus shipments in 2017-18 were 3.308 million tons, off 7 percent from 2016-17 and 13 percent below 2015-16.
California represented 87 percent of all U.S. fresh citrus shipments in 2017-18, compared with 7 percent from Florida, 5 percent from Texas and 1 percent from Arizona.
Florida accounted for 36 percent of total U.S. citrus loadings, compared with 59 percent for California. Texas and Arizona shipped the remaining 5 percent.
Florida Citrus Shipments
Thanks to citrus greening disease and Hurricane Irma in 2017, Florida’s citrus volume continued to plunge in the 2017-18 season.
Florida’s orange shipments stood at 45 million boxes last season, which was down 35 percent from the previous season. Grapefruit volume in Florida, at 3.88 million boxes in 2017-18, crashed by 50 percent from the previous season. Florida’s total citrus shipments decreased 37 percent from the previous season, the USDA said.
Fresh shipments of Florida citrus were rated at 221,000 tons, down 30 percent from 317,000 tons in 2016-17 and off 50 percent from 2015-16.
Bearing citrus acreage in Florida, at 400,900 acres in 2017-18, was 9,800 acres below the 2016-17 season.
In California, the USDA reported citrus loadings dropped 7 percent from the 2016-17 season. California’s total orange shipments, at 45.4 million boxes, was 6 percent lower than the previous season. The state’s grapefruit volume was down 9 percent from the 2016-17; tangerine and mandarin loadings were off 19 percent.
California’s fresh citrus shipments was 2.88 million tons in 2017-18, down 5 percent from 2016-17 and down 9 percent from 2015-16.
In Texas, loadings of citrus was up 9 percent from the 2016-17 season. Orange volume is up 37 percent from the previous season, but grapefruit volume was unchanged.
Texas citrus shipments was 175,000 tons in 2017-18, up 8 percent from 2016-17 and 11 percent higher than 2015-16.
Arizona lemon loadings in 2017-18 was down 35 percent from last season. Arizona fresh citrus shipments was 32,000 tons in 2017-18, down 29 percent 2016-17 and down 32 percent from 2015-16.