Archive For The “Trucking Reports” Category

CA Citrus Shipments are Looking Good; Fewer U.S. Apples Remain for Hauling

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A21Eighty percent of the nation’s domestic citrus shipments originate from California and loadings this season look favorable despite more than a month of triple digit heat.  Meanwhile, a look at apple shipments in the United States reveal a double digit drop in remaining volume compared to last season.

The state has a $3.3 billion industry with over 3,000 growers farming about 320,000 acres of citrus.

Technically, the California citrus season starts each year at the beginning of October with production and lemon shipments coming out of the Imperial County.  The harvest then gradually moves north to the San Joaquin Valley for mandarins and navels.  This year’s crop faced 34 consecutive of temperatures well above 100 degrees.  This caused citrus trees to kind of shut down, which is expected to result in fruit with a lot more smaller sizes that a year ago.  Still, the industry generally believes overall quality will be good.  An upside of the hot weather should be better flavor.

California citrus – grossing about $7100 to New York City.

Apple Shipments

U.S. fresh apples remaining for the 2018-19 shipping season are down 14 percent compared to a year ago.  The U.S. Apple Association reports as of November 1st there were 155.5 million cartons remaining in storages.  The amount of apple shipments remaining are 11 percent less compared to the five-year average of 130.3 million cartons.

Total Honeycrisp fresh apples still in storage as of  November 1st were 11.15 million cartons, up 6 percent from 10.56 million cartons last year and 58 percent higher than two years ago, when 7.06 million cartons of Honeycrisp were in storage.

At the same time, fresh market gala apples remaining in storage totaled 24.4 million cartons, down from 15 pecent at 28.6 million cartons last year and off 6 pecent from two years ago. Fresh market red delicious holdings were 27.6 million cartons on November 1, down 19 percent from 34.1 million cartons a year ago and 29 percent less than holdings of 39 million cartons two years ago.





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Increase in Peruvian Grape Imports by U.S. is Seen for New Season

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APeruvian grape imports by the U.S. are expected to increase this season, according to a new report from the USDA.

The new forecast has grape exports from Peru for the 2018-19 shipping season show an increase of 7 percent.

From October 2018 to September 2019 Peruvian grape production is predicted to rise 7 percent, totaling  540,000 metric tons, according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

“Grape production is recovering after heavy El Niño rains and unstable temperatures in early 2017 delayed harvest, reduced yields, and reduced quality,” the USDA said in the report.

With domestic consumption estimated at 271,000 metric tons, the USDA projects grape exports at 385,000 metric tons in 2018-19, up 7 percent from the previous year.

For the calendar year 2017, the USDA reported the U.S. was the top export market for Peru grape exports, taking 33 percent of the total volume.

Peru’s dry coast and 12 hours of sunlight daily, combined with irrigation, allows Peru to mature its grape crop 55 percent faster than neighboring countries, according to the report.

Grapes are grown primarily in Ica with 41 percent of the production and Piura with 22 percent of the production.  The total area under cultivation, is estimated at more than 74,000 acres.

The harvest season starts in late October and continues into in April.

While the red globe variety dominates production — it remains popular in the growing Chinese market.  The report notes growers are moving to higher-value varieties to supply other markets such as Crimson seedless, flame seedless, thompson seedless and sugraon.

One acre of grapes in Peru requires an initial investment of approximately $16,000, not counting the cost of land.

The report said about 30 percent of the cost of production is soil preparation and the irrigation system, 25 percent is establishing the trellis, and 14 percent goes toward the plant itself.

At $3,070 per metric ton, prices in the U.S. market were 27 percent higher than the average export price of $2,419 per metric ton in 2017. In the same period, the U.S. market represented 42 percent by value and 33 percent by volume of total Peruvian grape exports.

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A Trifecta of Produce Shipments: Kishu Mandarins; Idaho Potatoes; Georgia Broccoli

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A2Here is a trifecta of produce loading opportunities.  Granted two of the three will be limited volume (mandarins and broccoli), but Idaho potatoes always have big time shipments.

In another week or so Kishu mandarin loadings will get underway from California’s Orange Cove growing region.

The delicate, hand-picked item has relatively overall light volume and provides partial loads at best.

Kishu mandarins are a golf ball-sized mandarin that are sweet and easy to peel and sold for Ripe to You under the Lil’ Ninja Mandarins label.  Harvest begins in mid-November.

“We’re still competing with our retail partner’s inventory of citrus from the Southern Hemisphere,” says Madalyn McCracken of Ripe to You, based in Reedley, CAs.

That said, she adds that the Kishus are a variety sought after by higher-end grocery stores. “We’ve had great feedback on our 1 lb. bag with a new Giro design and we look forward to the consumer’s reaction to it,” she says.

Idaho Potato Shipments

Shipments of Idaho potatoes through early October have been running ahead of a year ago, according to USDA statistics.  As of October 6th, truck shipments of Idaho potatoes were 61.9 million pounds, up 9 percent from the same week a year ago.

Season-to-date truck shipments of Idaho potatoes through October 6th totaled 458.7 million pounds, up 14 percent compared with the season.

Rail shipments were also up, with season-to-date movement of 28.5 million pounds, up 6 percent compared with year-ago levels.

Fresh potato loadings are expected to ramp up as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach.

Idaho potatoes – grossing about $4700 to Atlanta.

Georgia Broccoli Shipments

While Maine broccoli shipments are finishing, shipper Fresh from the Start is launching its second season in Georgia with broccoli shipments starting in  mid-November.

The company dodged the bullet with Hurricane Michael and is  expecting good volume this season. Once its Georgia season is finished it will begin shipping out of Florida in January.

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A Small Decline is Seen with Chilean Blueberry Imports

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DSCN3254+1North American blueberry imports for the 2018-19 season will be good despite volume declining slightly from the record levels of a year ago.

With only a 5 percent decline in volume this season, it will hardly be noticed.

Chile has about 1,300 blueberry growers, primarily found in central and southern Chile.  The country has about 100 exporters shipping 100 metric tons or more.

With nearly perfect growing conditions last season, Chilean exporters shipped about 110,351 metric tons of fresh blueberries to all export markets with 64 percent destined for North America, 24 percent to Europe and 12 percent to Asia.

This season,Chilean fresh blueberry exports are forecast near 105,000 metric tons with distribution of the crop to be similar to a year ago.

Chilean blueberry exports started in mid-October.  Peak shipments will get underway the last week of November, and continuing through February.  The season continues through March.

Organic blueberry exports continue and upward trend.  Last season, organic blueberry shipments accounted for 9.5 percent of total fresh exports, or about 10,000 metric tons.  About 85 percent of the organic “blues” were exported to the U.S.

Total Chilean blueberry acreage was 38,550 acres in July 2017, of which 17 percent was organic production.

Boat vs. Air Shipments

About 90 percent of Chilean blueberry volume to North America is shipped by sea container, and 10 percent by air.  Few airplanes for shipping Chilean blueberries in the future is predicted since there is increasing competition from other exporting countries.

Last season, Chile exported about 40,000 metric tons of frozen blueberries — equal to about 40 percent of fresh volume.

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Chilean Fruit Imports Look Favorable; California Sumo Citrus Variety to Have Big Increase

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DSCN1432Imports 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.




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Big Jump in Florida Citrus Shipments are Forecast; U.S. Also is Up

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A20Florida citrus shipments for the 2018-19 season is forecast at 86.9 million boxes, a 75 percent increase from last year’s Hurricane Irma damaged crop, according to the USDA.

Citrus shipments are still far below Florida’s peak volume of 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.

“This citrus production forecast offers a glimmer of hope to Florida’s iconic citrus industry,” said Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, in a statement. “For more than a decade, we’ve battled citrus greening and the industry most recently was dealt a devastating blow last year from Hurricane Irma. This estimated increase in production is the much-anticipated good news that Florida’s growers have hoped for. Much work remains, but the citrus industry is strong and here to stay.”

Florida’s forecast for all oranges is set at 79 million boxes for 2018-19, up an impressive 76 percent from 44.95 million boxes in 2017-18, notes the USDA.

For grapefruit, the USDA forecast Florida shipments at 6.7 million boxes in 2018-19, up 72 percent from 3.88 million boxes from 2017-18.  Florida red grapefruit shipments was 5.5 million boxes, up from 3.18 million boxes last season.

Florida tangerine/mandarin shipments for the 2018-19 season is 1.2 million boxes, up from 60 percent from last season.

California and Texas

California growers and shippers also are expecting to ship more volume.

The California navel orange shipments for 2018-19 is 49 million boxes is up 8 percent from last season’s final shipments. The California valencia orange forecast is 9 million boxes, down 5 percent from last season’s final utilization. The Texas all-orange shipping forecast is at 2.4 million boxes, is up 28 percent from last season’s final utilization, the USDA said.

The U.S. 2018-2019 grapefruit shipments are is forecast 33 percent higher than last season’s final utilization. In Texas, expected production of 6.2 million boxes is up 29 percent from a year ago.

The forecast for the 2018-2019 U.S. lemon crop is down 4 percent from last season’s final shipments. California volume forecast is at 20 million boxes is off 6 percent from the 2017-2018 season.

The USDA said the U.S. tangerine and mandarin crop is forecast up 22 percent from last season’s final loadings. California tangerine and mandarin forecast, at 23 million boxes, is up 20 percent from the previous year.

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Banana Boat Arrival Delays Have been Occurring Due to Several Factors

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A12Timely arrivals for banana imports from Central and South America has been an ongoing issue this year due to factors ranging from disruptions by labor to weather factors.

Particularly over the last several weeks there have been late arrivals as a result of steamship line delays and issues.  Major delays by shipping companies continue along the most commonly used routes from South America to the U.S.  This has resulted in inconsistencies with steamship line arrival times to the U.S. and disruptions in banana supply across the board.

Labor strikes in Costa Rica have furthered the inconsistencies on steamship arrivals as any routes that include Costa Rica have experienced major slowdowns at Cost Rica ports.  Contributing to the problems was a hurricane that hit the southeastern coast of Costa Rica in September.

Organics Unlimited of San Diego, CA has reported price pressure on organic bananas.  The company contends there is a lack of understanding on what is figured into the higher prices needed for organic product versus conventional.

Chiquita Brands has referenced the rising costs of items ranging from paper, bunker fuel and inland transportation.  There also are stricter regulations, fuel prices going up and lack of adequate labor, all which are having a  negative impact on costs.

Bananas imported by North American companies are sourced mainly from Central America, where challenges the industry faced this year were mostly weather related.

The year started with colder weather than usual, and in Costa Rica and Panama above average rainfall, creating port service problems.  The unstable political situation in the region continues to pose a challenge for a consistent and problem-free supply.

Del Monte Fresh Produce of Coral Gables, FL reports in recent months growing conditions have been good and banana availability should remain steady through the rest of the year, despite some transportation issues last September.

Oke USA of  West Bridgewater, MA is the importing arm of Equal Exchange.  The company reports weather has been ideal in Peru and Ecuador this year.  However, 2017 was a difficult year for quality due to El Niño and excessive rains that led to wide-scale flooding, especially in Peru.  In 2018, there has been less rain in general, rains coming at the right time and more optimal growing conditions in general.  This has resulted Equal Exchange experiencing a decrease of over 50 percent in quality issues.

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California Table Grapes Remaining to be Shipped are at 10-Year High; Plus Other News

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DSCN0867California table grapes remaining to be shipped this season at the close of September were the highest in at least a decade.

Red seedless varieties account for most of the increase from last season.  Origin Fruit Services South America compiled the report showing California table grapes remaining to be shipped as of September 30th were 12.9 million boxes – 19 percent above the 10.8 million boxes at the same time last year.

The report has recorded stocks, or remaining shipments, for the past 10 years.  The second-highest level over this period was in 2008 when stocks of 11.2 million boxes were registered.  Since 2009, stocks as of September 30th have ranged from 7.5 million boxes in 2012 to 11.1 million boxes in 2010.

Remaining shipments of red seedless grapes recently amounted to 7.4 million boxes – up 39 percent from a year ago. White seedless volumes are the same as last year at 4.5 million, while black seedless are up 16 percent at 656,000 boxes.

Red Globes, meanwhile, are down 25 percent from last year at 365,000 boxes.

San Joaquin Valley table grapes – grossing about $7500 to Miami.

Record shipping volume

The California table grape industry set a new five-week shipping record, moving over 23 million boxes into the worldwide marketplace September 8th through October 12th.

About 60 to 65 percent of California table grapes are normally shipped from September 1st through January.

L&M Pepper Shipments

L&M Farms of Raleigh, NC has expanded pepper field acreage this year with proprietary-seed colored bell peppers under the Simply Sun brand, which is now grown and shipped year-round.  Loadings are now originating from Georgia and then will shift to Florida before returning back up north on the East Coast to North Carolina and then over to Michigan. The Simply Sun colored bells come in red and yellow now, with orange peppers coming into the program as well.

Strawberry Imports

Dave’s Specialty Imports, Miami, Fla., is importing a jumbo blueberry pack and has significantly expanded its imports of organic strawberries from Mexico.

Imported Mexican organic strawberries are crossing the border and will overlap slightly with the start of Florida strawberry shipments in January.

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CarbAmericas will Import Mexican Organic Asparagus; Mountain King is Shipping Butter Reds

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A2By CarbAmericas

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – CarbAmericas will start shipping Cypress Creek Organic green asparagus from Caborca, Mexico in January 2019.  CarbAmericas is the premier importer of fresh fruits and vegetables celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018.

The season will start in January and run through April 15 and pick up again from October to March. CarbAmericas will offer long term and contract pricing for its organic asparagus program. This new organic program will complement the company’s longstanding conventional asparagus offerings.

CarbAmericas will supply organic asparagus in 11/1lb and 28/1lb boxes, consisting of standard and large size asparagus.

“We will also pack our organic asparagus in a 12 oz bag that will be more convenient for the consumer, introduce “new customers” to the organic category through purchase triggers, and will provide a better price point,” said Jeff Friedman, president of CarbAmericas.

The Caborca-grown product will load in Yuma Arizona.

The company takes a holistic approach, working with category management processes and our retail partners to bring new customers to the Organic category.


About CarbAmericas

CarbAmericas was established in 1993 and is a vertically integrated, year-round supplier and importer of fruits and vegetables. Specializing in asparagus, broccoli, mangos, berries, snow and sugar snap peas, CarbAmericas ships to both retail and foodservice in the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America.  With team members working alongside their growers across the Americas, CarbAmericas truly stands behind its commitment to take a holistic approach, working with category management processes and retail partners to bring new customers to the organic category.

Mountain King Potatoes

by MountainKing Potatoes

HOUSTON, TX – MountainKing Potatoes has announced the completion of a bumper crop-like harvest of its Butter Reds, one of the company’s most popular gourmet varieties.

Originally from the Netherlands, the 100-percent all-natural variety from Colorado’s San Luis Valley relies on Beta-Carotene for its intense yellow flesh.   Fresh packed in 3#, 5# and 10# poly bags, the newly harvested Butter Reds are available October to April.

Known for their waxy texture which holds up better to boiling, roasting and grilling, MountainKing’s Butter Reds have become a preferred choice for stews, potato salads and when roasted with fresh herbs and grilled.

MountainKing Potatoes is one of the world’s largest growers of high-flavor potato varieties.  Currently, about one million U.S. households enjoy MountainKing products every week.



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Peruvian Onion Imports Increasing after Slow Start to Season

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A30U.S. imports of Peruvian onions got off to a slow start this season, but quality is good and total production is expected to exceed those of a year ago.

Sweet Onion Trading of Melbourne, FL reports the onion crop is a little late due to colder than normal weather during the growing season.  Still, good quality onions are being reported from all production regions.”

As of August 30th, imports of Peruvian sweet onions were down 215 containers from the previous season at the same time.  It is the lowest shipments since 2014.

Keystone Fruit Marketing of Greencastle, PA notes U.S. imported Peruvian sweet onions are down 28 percent, but are expected to catch up with last season’s imports in time for Thanksgiving.  Keystone Fruit Marketing’s initial imported onions from Peru arrived  the first week of September.  The company experience light volume in September and early October because of cooler temperatures during the growing season.

Volume for Keystone is just now becoming more normal.

G&R Farms of Glennville, GA has reports its Peruvian sweet onion harvest starts in July, with retailers receiving their first product in mid-August. As with Sweet Onion Trading and Keystone Fruit Marketing, G&R Farms believes the slow start will see a rebound as the season progresses.  The harvest lasts into late March or early April.

At Shuman Produce of Reidsville, GA, the operation imported more than 1,000 containers of Peruvian onions last season, marketed under the RealSweet brand.

With rising demand in the U.S. for sweet onions, the company plans to increase volumes this season.

Shuman Produce, which is one of the largest Vidalia sweet onion shippers, reported that season went very well.  It has experienced a very smooth transition from its Vidalia sweet onion season to Peruvian sweet onions.

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