Domestic Citrus Shipments Kick off Summer with Good Volume

Domestic Citrus Shipments Kick off Summer with Good Volume

Citrus shipments have been strong throughout the coronavirus crisis, and continue to show excellent weekly increases over the same week last year.

IRI, a Chicago market research firm reports data for the week ending May 3, shows sales of oranges were up 68 percent, lemon sales grew by 42.4 percent and tangerine shipments increased 7.7 percent.

At least part of the sales surge likely was due to the positive reputation vitamin C has earned when it comes to building a strong immune system, according to some shippers and nutritionists.

Sunkist Growers Inc. of Valencia, CA ships California-grown citrus the year-round. During the summer it ships lemons, grapefruit, valencia oranges and limes. It also shipped California and Arizona grown cara cara oranges through May.

Sunkist’s summer citrus varieties will take over volume in June, while other varieties wind down.

Valencia oranges are the only U.S.-grown oranges available in the summer. Shipments of lemons, grapefruit and valencias should be up this summer compared to last year.

Bee Sweet Citrus of Fowler, CA will be shipping valencia oranges, cara cara navels, mandarins, lemons and grapefruit this summer. Blood oranges also will be available through the end of July. The company’s grapefruit, valencia oranges and blood oranges are grown in California, while its mandarins, navel oranges and cara cara navels are imported from Chile. Lemons are grown domestically and imported. Volume on all items should be similar to last year.

Seven Seas of Visalia, CA is a division of Tom Lange Co. Inc., Springfield, IL and is shipping California-grown valencia oranges, grapefruit and lemons this summer.

Limoneira Co. of Santa Paula, CA is shipping product from its California coastal growing area. If needed, fruit will be imported to the U.S. from ranches in Chile and Argentina.

The company ships lemons year-round and volume is similar to last year,