Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

Decrease in Florida Citrus Shipments Seen for this Season

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U.S. citrus shipments show mixed results in comparison to December’s estimate for the 2020-21 season.

The USDA January forecast for oranges for December’s forecast showed volumes of all variants decreasing by 11.3 million boxes from the 2019-20 season to 56 million boxes.

January’s figures continued with this decreasing trend, reporting the national production total will likely be two million boxes fewer at 54 million. Additionally, calculations specifically for Florida’s non-Valencia orange shipments is predicted to be down nine percent, showing loadings dropping from 22 million in December to 20 million this month.

Florida’s Valencia orange volume remained unchanged at 34 million boxes. Current fruit size is below average and is expected to stay that way at harvest.

Forecasted grapefruit shipments from December were also down from last year’s numbers by 450,000 boxes. However, January’s numbers break from the trend with a predicted five percent or 200,000 box increase.

If realized, this increase will still be 5% less than last season’s final grapefruit shipments.

Following suit, estimates in California and Texas for the current year increase 400,000 and 100,000 boxes, respectively. Meanwhile, January’s forecast for tangerine and tangelo production remained unchanged at 1.1 million boxes, 8% more than last season’s 1.02 million boxes.

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A National Produce Shipping Update

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Here’s a look at possible loading opportunities for fresh fruits and vegetable across the U.S.

South Texas

Primarily thanks to imports from Mexico this is one of the most active areas for produce hauls.

Mexican blueberry imports through South Texas are getting a boost because of problems in California. Movement out of Chile is increasing. However, availability is being limited by a backlog unloading Chinese container ships at West Coast ports, with ships waiting as long as two weeks for berths. This slowdown is also affecting quality of the berries on these ships, leading to an increase in demand for fresher Mexican blueberries.

Increasing movement on Mexico strawberries crossing through Texas is expected with over 400 truck loads weekly happening now. However, avocados are triple this amount in volume. Over 1200 loads of vine ripe and plum tomatoes are now crossing weekly. Of course, there are dozens of other smaller volume items available as well.

Lower Rio Grande Valley Mexican produce – grossing about $6700 to New York City.

Florida

Shipments of Florida winter tomatoes are normally providing decent volume this time of year, but cool weather is holding back production. This also is true with dozens of other vegetable items.

Arizona

The Yuma area is rolling pretty good led by head lettuce and romaine averaging around 1700 truck loads per week. There also are lesser amounts of other veggies here, as well as across the state line in California’s Imperial and Coachella Valleys. Meanwhile, Mexican crossings at Nogales continue with a wide range of veggies.

Yuma area lettuce – grossing about $5900 to Chicago.

Miscellaneous States

Colorado’s San Luis Valley is moving around 500 truckloads of potatoes each week….There’s much less spud volume available from Central Wisconsin and the Red River Valley of North Dakota and Minnesota.

Eastern North Carolina continues to ship sweet potatoes, but there are less than 200 truck loads per week.

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Exceptional Growing Season is Reported by Fruit World

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Fruit World of Reedley, CA, a family-owned, grower-shipper of organic and conventional fruit, is reporting an exceptional citrus growing season, including a variety of specialty citrus, according to a press release.

The company is shipping conventional and organic mandarins, as well as organic Cara Cara, Blood, and Navel oranges, organic Minneolas, and their year-round mainstay, organic lemons. They are also announcing the transition of even more acreage towards organic certification.

Fruit World is now shipping mandarins now through May, with its highest volumes in early spring.

“We’re unique in how we time the availability of some of our citrus like Cara Caras and Blood Oranges,” said CJ Buxman, Fruit World co-founder and an organic citrus grower. “We start our season a little later so their flavor is at its strongest and sweetest when we ship.

Fruit World will start shipping Cara Caras in mid-January, with Blood Oranges close behind in late January, both available through April. The company’s year-round organic lemon program will also see good volumes from January through April.

Contributing to the company’s citrus production this season will be Heirloom Navel Oranges from Sky Ranch, one of Kaprielian’s family ranches. Sky Ranch’s Heirloom Navel acreage is transitioning to organic, and while this year’s crop will be sold as conventional, it will follow all organic standards. 

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Peruvian Grape Exports Up 11% to Start off the Season

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Table grape exports from Peru got off to a good start this year, despite continuing concern about the potential unrest in production areas.

ADEX, the country’s Exporters’ Association notes exports during October, the season’s opening month, rose by 11% over last season to $80 million. Table grapes were in third place for total agricultural exports from Peru, behind avocados and blueberries.

Between January and October, shipments totalled $546 million, presenting a growth of 23% over last season. The Ica region, which is the first producing region, led foreign grape sales totaling $324 million. However, there is concern due to the agricultural protests in the Ica region that affected transit throughout December.

Between January and October, Peruvian grape exports arrived at 48 destinations, with the U.S. as the main market, growing by 40.93% to $242.191 million.

The Netherlands followed in second place, increasing 14.53%, with Hong Kong, Mexico and China following. The top ten was completed by the UK, Spain, Colombia, South Korea and Canada. The most exported variety is the Red Globe, followed by Sweet Globe, Sugraone, Crimson Thompson, among others.

While production continues to do well in this region, the association warned about the potential impact due to the protests and road blockages.

There are daily protests preventing about 200 containers of agricultural products, representing a loss of about $10 million per day. Each container that stops moving has a value of about $50,000 on average.

Other northern grape-producing regions in October were Piura which increased its shipments by 16.6%; Lambayeque, which fell by 2.4%; and La Libertad which also suffered a loss of 16.3%.

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Imports of Chilean Fruit are Seasonally Increasing

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The harvest of Chilean table grapes in the Atacama region kicked off in mid December, one week behind last season, yielding mostly white seedless grapes (Sugraone, Prime Seedless, and Timson), as well as a lower volume of Flame Seedless. 

The Chilean Fresh Fruits Association reports exports of table grapes got underway with the New Year, with just 475 tons shipped globally during the first week. A total of 219 tons were destined to North America, which is Chile’s largest export market. Exports to this market will continue to ramp up.

Last season, Chile exported a total of 600,960 tons with about 50 percent shipped to North America. It is expected the number will increase in 2021.

There will be increased volumes of the more popular newer varieties (Timco, Sweet Celebration, Allison, etc.) and lower volumes of varieties such as Flame Seedless.

Stone fruit volume will hit high gear in February and runs through April.

Through mid-December, Chile has shipped 370 tons of plums globally including 201 tons to North America. Early pickings focused on Early Queen and Big Fusion varieties.

With nectarines, 2,992 tons were shipped through the same time period with 1,084 destined for North America. Early picking focused on Zee Fire, Rio Red and Early Juan varieties.

As for peaches, so far 2,550 tons have been shipped globally with 64 percent headed to North America. The main varieties harvested season to date have been Early Majestic and Super Rich.

Chilean berry shipments have been particularly strong, resulting in 13.6 percent growth compared to the same period last year.

The country started exporting blueberries to North America in mid-August, but there were only small volumes until mid-November, and very concentrated in organics from the northern region. The first week that Chile shipped more than 1,000 tons to North America was November 16-22.

Peak loadings by boat are underway from Chile, with good weekly through February. The forecast calls for 111,500 tons of total fresh blueberry exports, 2 percent higher than last season.

Total shipped volume (globally) through December 13 was 26,127 tons with about half of all volume shipped heading for North America. Still, the number of imports to the U.S. is down about 11 percent from last season.

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Eastern U.S. Produce Shipments

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Even in the midst of winter when produce loading opportunities in most areas of the country are nothing to get excited about, Florida still offers the best opportunities, at least in the Eastern time zone.

Some things never change, and multiple pick ups and drops is the norm. There’s a tremendous variety of produce for hauling in Florida, but none of the items are in big volume.

Imports from around the world continue to increase and south Florida ports are beneficiaries. Boats frequently arrive with containers from Chile to Peru, Guatemala, Central America, Brazil and the Caribbean.

Domestic loadings of dozens of vegetables are available, mostly out of Central and Southern Florida. Mature green and grape tomatoes are probably the heaviest volume items offering around 700 truck load equivalents per weeks. After this there is much lighter volume with items ranging from cabbage, to squash, peas and citrus, among numerous others.

South Georgia has light loadings of cabbage, carrots, sweet corn and greens. The Port of Savannah is becoming a bigger player with produce imports.

However, the ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington, NC are much higher volume ports handling imports from countries such as Chile, Peru, Italy, Brazil and Ecuador.

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Western Produce Shipping Patterns Should be More Normal Following Holidays

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Everything concerning logistics and transportation has been difficult during the pandemic and it wasn’t any easier during the holiday season. Produce shipments are expected to return to more normal patterns (whatever that is). Restocking of retail supermarket shelves should translate in to an increase in shipments on many items before leveling off as we progress into the New Year.

Here’s a round up of some major winter shipping areas in the western half of the U.S. and the biggest volume items being shipped.

Arizona

Western Arizona in the Yuma district is loading about 1,000 truck loads of head lettuce and romaine each week, plus lesser amounts of numerous other winter veggies….Many Mexican produce items crossing at Nogales will be reaching peak volume in the weeks ahead. Lots of mixed loads here. More than a half dozen different types of squash combined are accounting for about 500 truck loads weekly. Cucumbers and bell peppers are gaining in volume, along with watermelons and tomatoes.

Mexican veggies from Nogales – grossing about $4500 to Chicago.

California

California at one time was the most exciting place for picking up produce loads, but a lot of the shine has shifted to other areas, led by Mexico due to left coast taxes and other political decisions. Many of the best loading opportunities are now in the desert of the Imperial and Coachella valleys with many items mirroring those found in the Yuma district….In Ventura County there are around 450 truck load equivalents weekly of celery. Over in Kern County about 300 truck load equivalents of carrots are being shipped.

Idaho

Russet potato shipments from the Twin Falls region are averaging around 1250 truck load equivalents weekly….In Western Idaho and Malheur County, Oregon they are loading nearly 600 truck load equivalents.

Texas

South Texas continues to become one of the most attractive areas for loading produce, as more and more Mexican fruits and veggies are crossing the border. Nearly 900 truckloads of avocados are being loaded weekly and this should be increasing as we approach the Super Bowl in early February. Other volume items range from tomatoes to limes, watermelons, strawberries and broccoli.

Mexican produce crossings from South Texas – grossing about $4800 to Atlanta.

Washington

Apples and pears are the most obvious opportunities this time of year from the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys with over 2100 truck load equivalents each week. There is also moderate shipments of potatoes and onions from Washington’s Columbia Basin and the adjacent Umatilla Basin of Oregon.

Washington apples grossing – about $8400 to New York City.

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Argentina Lemon Exports to Experience 25% Drop this Season

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A 25 percent decline in Argentine lemon exports are estimated compared to a year ago. This would result in producing only 190,000 metric tons (MT) this coming season, according to a report by the USDA.

Reasons for the projected decline is due to a decrease in production, available fruit supply in the Northern Hemisphere’s fruit-producing countries and strong competition from South Africa.

Exporters are also concerned about the continued threat of fruit rejections by the EU due to the presence of Citrus Black Spot (CBS) as occurred in the 2019-20 season.

Lemon exports to the U.S. for the 2020-21 season are estimated to be about 40,000MT. However, this is an uncertain estimate due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumption patterns.

Argentine lemon production forecasts at 1.03MMT, a 30 percent decrease in comparison to last year, due to cold damage early in the season and dry growing conditions. A drought is restricting production of all citrus fruit in Argentina by reducing fruit size. This season fresh lemons for processing are forecast to decrease significantly to 731,000 MT, down 31.5 percent compared to 2019-20, as a result of the decrease in production.

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Strong Avocado Shipments Seen by U.S. Suppliers Through January

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Avocado shipments are expected to be strong with stable volumes over the coming weeks, with an increase in the run-up to the Super Bowl.

The Del Rey Avocado Company reports supplies have been steady over recent weeks, hitting around 50 million pounds per week into the U.S. market.

This pace is likely to continue as volumes are expected to pick up in the new year. A weekly increase in volume to match the demand for the Super Bowl is seen from the middle to the end of January. However, it remains to be seen whether the U.S. market will see volumes of up to 78 million pounds per week for two or three weeks as in previous years.

Mission Produce notes Mexico is producing good volumes through December and leading into the Super Bowl on February 7, the biggest avocado sales period of the year. Volumes over 50 million pounds through December and will continue to grow as we get closer to the Big Game.

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Chilean Cherries Forecast has Big Increase

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A revised estimate of the production and exports of Chilean cherries predicts an even greater increase compared to what was announced in early November.

The Asoex Chilean Cherry Committee, exports of 326,184 metric tons (MT) (63,236,847 cartons of 5 kg) are predicted, which would be an increase of 38.3 percent over last season. The original estimate was expected to reach 310,352 MT. The figure was also a record in exports for the Latin American country.

Among the top countries receiving Chilean cherry exports are the U.S. South Korea, Brazil, China, India, Vietnam and Thailand.

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