Posts Tagged “California citrus shipments”

California, Florida, Texas Citrus Shipments are Showing an Increase

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With the absence of major hurricanes, storms, heatwaves or freezes in California, Florida or Texas citrus shipping areas, growers are reporting good quality.

The January 10 citrus crop estimate from the USDA forecasts a harvest of 125.5 million boxes of oranges for the current season, up from 124 million last year.

The grapefruit forecast is 15.7 million boxes, up from 13.8 last season.

Lemon and tangerine production is down.

Growers are expected to ship 20.4 million boxes of lemons, compared to 24.1 million in 2018-19, and 23 million boxes of tangerines, down from about 27 million last year.

Booth Ranches LLC of Orange Cove, CA is in full swing harvesting, packing and shipping navel oranges, The company expects to wrap up navel shipments by late June and is reporting excellent quality and color.

Limoneira Co. of Santa Paula, CA is picking lemons in California’s San Joaquin Valley and in the coastal region. The operation reports good quality.

Florida Citrus Shipments

Florida Classic Gowers Inc. of Dundee, FL will transition from navels to valencias in mid-February and continue shipping those through May. Then the summer storage orange shipments will get underway, continuing through June.

Florida Citrus Mutual of Lakeland, FL reports a good citrus shipping season and expects it to continue through the second half of the season.

Texas Citrus Shipments

Texas Citrus Mutual of Mission, TX sees good quality with Lower Rio Grande citrus being shipped out of South Texas. Product is split with 70 percent of the citrus volume consisting of grapefruit and 30 percent oranges.. The company was completing their navels and early variety shipments in mid January, and was planning to start valencias in February,

Lone Star Citrus Growers, Mission, TX reports good quality grapefruit, although volume is down from last season, but with larger sized fruit.


Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus as well as Mexican produce crossings – grossing about $3200 to Chicago, about $5700 to New York City.

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Citrus Shipments from the Nation’s Top Three States Expected to be Down

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AA1Overall citrus shipments from the nation’s three leading states are expected to be lower this season for various reasons.

California citrus shipments of navel oranges and lemons will be down this season.  It also means lighter than normal loadings towards the end of the season, and perhaps shipments ending sooner than usual.

California is expected to ship 35 million boxes of navel oranges, down 11 percent from the 2016-17 season.   While California lemon volume should remain about this same this season at about 20.5 million boxes, it will be lower than normal.

Southern California citrus – grossing about $8000 to New York City.

Florida Citrus Shipments

In Texas, grapefruit has received a lot of interest after Hurricane Irma significantly reduced volume from Florida.   Florida will probably ship about 4.65 million boxes of grapefruit, down more than 40 percent from the 2016-17 season.  Florida grower-shippers have had a tough time, with Hurricane Irma estimated to have caused at least $760 million in losses to the citrus industry there.

Shipments are down 40 percent to 55 percent depending on grove location.  Quality also has been an issue due the hurricane winds that really beat up the fruit, as well as weakening the trees.

Imports from Mexico and Morocco have resulted in Seald Sweet of Vero Beach, FL filling gaps left by Florida citrus, and the company has been bringing imported fruit into its Florida packinghouse.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods of Oviedo, FL reports its orange volume is down an estimated 29 percent, grapefruit off by 65 percent and tangerines and mandarins plunging by 80 percent.  Duda’s grapefruit shipments that usually continue into March, ended in early January.

Duda has an import program as well, including clementines from Morocco.

Texas Citrus Shipments

Texas grapefruit shipping estimates have been lowered from 5.3 million boxes to 4.1 million boxes.  Shipments are ahead of estimates, with about 56 percent of the overall crop remaining to be shipped, compared to 68 percent the same time in 2017.    Loadings by truck, however, should stay strong through the spring.

Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus – grossing about $3400 to Chicago.



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How Western Produce Shipments are Affected by Recent Weather Events

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SUNKIST10-FINCH-FARMS-0582California citrus shipments are getting back on track after days of rains.  Meanwhile, weather is expected to have a significant impact of Salinas vegetable shipments, but not affect California almonds, nearly as much. 

The effects of the rain in citrus groves about a week ago, which hinders harvest and shipments when the ground is too muddy, could have been worse.  It helps we are talking citrus and not something more perishable like strawberries (See March 1st report).   Of note as we’ve previously reported, orange shippers had a bigger-than-normal pre-Christmas loadings, shipping about 30 percent  of crop before the holiday, compared to a normal 20-25 percent.  This is expected to result in season ending shipments occurring earlier than usual.

While harvest and shipments have been significantly slowed down, with it being too muddy for heavy equipment, the citrus industry is estatic over the great improvements in the water supply.  Even better, the excess rain has not created any quality-related issues – thus far.

Southern California oranges and specialty citrus – grossing about $3600 to Chicago.

Vegetable Shipments

Vegetable growers love the big rains that have recently occurred, but the trade off is plantings have been delayed in the Salinas Valley.  This will be some shipping gaps, which will be felt even more because vegetable shipments from the California and Arizona deserts are going to end early than usual.

Not only are Salinas Valley spring vegetable shipments to be later this year, but there’s an excellent chance yields will be off due to wet-weather planting and generally adverse conditions.  This of course, will translate into fewer vegetable shipments.

Imperial Valley and Yuma vegetables – grossing about $4600 to Atlanta.

Almond Shipments

 Because of recent rains and storms in the San Joaquin Valley, some almond trees were blown down by strong winds recently.  However, tree losses aren’t as bad as initially feared and optimism continues for good shipments when the season starts  the latter part of August.

Mexican Grape Shipments

It’s a bit early, but initial estimates for the Mexican grape shipments are expected to be pretty much on time, which should mean fruit starting to cross the border at Nogales in late April.

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California Citrus Shipments are Delayed; NY Apple Shipper Handling Canadian Fruit

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DSCN8835Refrigerated haulers expecting to load California citrus could very well face significant delays because rains have delayed harvest.  On another front, an upstate New York apple shipper will be shipping Canadian apples this season.

California Citrus Shipments

Disruptions at citrus loading docks are expected the week of February 13-17 due to rain delayed harvests in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

A rainy week in California has citrus growers there expecting some shortages in mid-February due to excessive rains in citrus groves the week of February 6 – 10.

California citrus growers have been conducting picking operations on a limited basis between the rains.   It has been a challenge getting workers and equipment into the fields after big storms.  Some citrus orchards have been affected more than others depending on soil types and location.  In some cases it is takes a few days for the orchards to dry out.

Delays in harvest as well as loading opportunities for citrus haulers are expected with lemons, oranges and specialty citrus, such as mandarins.  Mandarins typically are more sensitive to the rain  than other types of fruit.

California citrus – grossing about $4200 to Atlanta.

New York Apple Shipments

New York Apple Sales Inc., based in Glenmont, NY is shipping late-harvest apple varieties from Nova Scotia.   The fruit is coming from orchards in the Scotian Gold Cooperative, which grows and harvests Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, and Sonya apples.  The product is  grown in the Annapolis Valley, near the Bay of Fundy.  The three Nova Scotia apple varieties being imported and distributed by New York Apple Sales differ from U.S.-grown counterparts.

Nova Scotia apples have the latest apple-growing season in North America, according to a news release, and trees don’t bloom until the later weeks of May, with the Honeycrisp harvest typically starting during the last week of September, and Ambrosia and Sonya picking to follow.

The Scotian Gold Growers have been providing apples to New York Apple Sales for the past three years.


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Citrus Shipping Outlook for Florida, Texas and California

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DSCN7158A small decrease is expected for Florida citrus shipments this season, while increases are projected for California and Texas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates in its Jan. 12 report that  Florida orange shipments will 71 million 90-pound boxes, one million less than expected in the USDA December forecast, a decrease of about 1 percent.

Loadings for midseason and navel varieties remains unchanged at 36 million boxes, but the forecast for the later valencia oranges is now 35 million, down about 3 percent from the earliered total of 36 million.  These small changes are considered normal for season to season.

The good news is observers believe the citrus industry is gaining ground on fight citrus greening disease (huanglongbing) as new trees are now being planted.

The overall forecast of 71 million boxes of Florida oranges is 13% less than last season’s production.

Florida is projected to ship 9 million 85-pound boxes of grapefruit, off about 3 percent from the December forecast, with the expectation for red grapefruit steady at 7.3 million boxes and the outlook for white down from 2 million to 1.7 million.

The projection for tangerines and tangelos in Florida was up slightly to 1.52 million boxes from 1.5 million in the December forecast.

Southern and Central Florida citrus, strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $2400 to New York City.

California Citrus Shipments

California is expected to ship 53 million 80-pound boxes of oranges, up about 5 percent from the December forecast of 50.5 million. The state is expected to ship 44 million boxes of non-valencia oranges and 9 million boxes of valencia oranges. In December, the forecast was for 42 million boxes of non-valencias and 8.5 million of valencias.

The Golden State is expected to produce 4.1 million 80-pound boxes of grapefruit, up 2.5 percent from the December prediction of 4 million.

Forecasts for lemon shipments were down nearly 5 percent in California, from 21 million 80-pound boxes to 20 million, and down nearly 14 percent in Arizona, from 1.8 million to 1.55 million.

The expectation for California  tangerines and tangelos was unchanged at 23 million boxes.

Southern California citrus, tomatoes and kiwifruit – grossing about $3900 to Chicago.

Texas Citrus Shipments

The Lower Rio Grande Valley of  Texas, should ship 1.45 million 85-pound boxes of non-valencias, up from a December projection of one million, a 45 percent increase.  The forecast for 350,000 boxes of valencias was unchanged from last month.

The USDA projected Texas production will be 5.3 million 80-pound boxes, up nearly 13 percent from the December forecast of 4.7 million.

In the last 10 seasons, the January citrus forecast for the various regions has deviated from final production by an average of 5 percent, ranging from 15 percent below production to 10 percent above production.

South Texas citrus, Mexican tropical fruit and vegetables – grossing about $2800 to Chicago.

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Outlook for CA Citrus, Chilean “Blues”, NY Produce

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dscn13751Outlook — California citrus shipments will be down this season, while Chilean blueberries arriving in North America are expected to increase.  We also take a peak at New York state produce shipments.

With a final shipment of California navels, the total was about 94 million cartons for the 2015-16 season, which was the second largest on record.  The upcoming season is expected to be 10 to 15 percent less, amounting to about 84 million cartons.

The California navel orange crop as well as the specialty citrus – led by mandarin oranges – are coming along fine. Harvesting and shipping of navel oranges should be getting underway any day now, while mandarin shipments have already started.   California continues to the leading shipper of fresh market citrus in the United States.  While early shipping volumes for mandarins have been down a bit, the crop matures, the numbers are expected to increase.

San Joaquin Valley grapes and vegetables – grossing about $4100 to Chicago.

Chilean Blueberry Imports

The U.S. and Canada received 69 percent of the 91,500 metric tons of blueberries exported by Chile during the 2015-16 season.  Light blueberry harvest began in August, with peak volume expected to begin at the end of November and continue until the first or second week of March.

 Forecast volume to the U.S. is expected to rise about 3 percent this season.  During the 2015-16 season, Chilean exporters shipped 15 percent of all blueberry exports by air, and the rest by ocean container.
New York Produce Shipments
Apples are the largest volume produce item being shipped this time of the year, ranging from the Hudson Valley to the Champlain Valley, the central part of the state (Ithaca area).  There’s shipments from Western New York (Buffalo) area stretching eastward along the southern shores of Lake Ontario all the way to Oswego.  The state expects to ship about 30 million cartons of apples this season and will rank a close third in volume behind Michigan.
There also is moderate volume of cabbage shipments from central and western areas of the Empire state.  Orange County, New York is moving a moderate, but steady volume of storage onions.

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Fewer National Citrus Shipments Seen This Season

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dscn4665Fewer total U.S. citrus shipments are seen this season from the leading states of Florida, California and Texas.

Florida’s first forecast for citrus shipments reveals a continued decline across all varieties with grapefruit and navel oranges expected to be among the lowest levels in history.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture on October 12th forecast Florida to ship 81 million equivalent cartons of oranges, grapefruit and specialty fruit or tangerines, down from 94.1 million boxes last season.

The Sunshine state is expected to move 70 million 90-pound cartons of oranges with navel oranges amounting 1 million cartons.  Navels are predicted to be three percent lower than last season and the lowest since the 1979-80 season when the USDA began separate navel forecasts.

Regarding grapefruit, Florida should ship 9.6 million 85-pound cartons, down 11 percent from the 2015-16 season and the lowest level in 50 years.  As for tangerines, early season fallglos, midseason sunbursts and later season honeys are forecast to decline as well.

The USDA report forecast 7.5 million boxes of red grapefruit and 2.1 million boxes of white grapefruit.

California Citrus Shipments

California orange loadings are forecast to be down from 54.2 million 80-pound cartons last season to 50.5 million cartons this season.  The state’s grapefruit shipments are forecast to increase from 3.8 million 80-pound cartons last season to 4 million cartons for 2016-17.

Texas Citrus Shipments

Texas orange shipments are seen falling from 1.7 million 85-pound cartons in 2015-16 to 1.4 million cartons this year.  With grapefruit, Texas shipments are forecast to decline from last season’s 4.8 million 80-pound cartons to 4.7 million cartons this season.

25 years ago or so , there were 30 shippers and packers of Texas grapefruit and oranges operating the Rio Grande Valley and shipment citrus across the U.S. as well as exporting.  Today, there are only three shippers.

Worldwide citrus grower are concerned about citrus greening,  the primary reason for the decline in Florida citrus volume.   In Texas,, the crops have not been affected by the disease.  However, observers point out Florida didn’t feel the decline [in volume and tree health] until the sixth year after greening was discovered.   Texas is now entering its sixth since green was discovered in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  A lot of folks are holding their breath and taking a wait and see attitude.



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Strawberry Shipments to Increase, But It’s Taking Time

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004If you’ve noticed sky high strawberry prices in your local supermarket, there’s a reason.  Shipments from California, Mexico and Florida are all low, but things are starting change.

November rains excellerated already seasonally lower volumes for California strawberry shipments, and volumes also have been below the three-year average.  Volume will improve, but it’s going to take some time.  El Niño predictions are still showing the strong probability of continuous rains and occasional heavy down pours in the west.

Some California shippers will rely on Florida and Mexico production to supplement California loadings, though bad weather in central Mexico in mid-November was complicating that crop.

This time of year California volume is unpredictable due to cold weather and number of daylight hours. With short days, cold nights and the threat of rain, volume is difficult to predict.

Florida strawberry shipments are increasing and should hit decent volume by next week from the Plant City, Fla. area.  However, it will be the first of the year before peak volumes occur.

By the week of November 23rd, shipments from Watsonville, CA had mostly wound down for the year, as production shifted to Southern California.  Ventura County is ramping up and Orange County will get underway soon.

Southern California citrus shipments – grossing about $4200 to Chicago.

Central and Southern Florida tomatoes, vegetables – grossing about $2300 to New York City.

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California Shipping Update: Table Grapes and Oranges

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022Here’s a look at the final months of California table grape shipments and the outlook for the new crop of California Navel oranges.

Adverse weather reduced California table grape shipments the first part of the season, but the second half of the season has been more stable with steady shipments.  Approximately 15 percent of the crop is left to harvest and about 25 percent of the crop has yet to be shipped.  Still, about 2,000 truck loads are being shipped weekly from the San Joaquin Valley.

Actually more shipments are now occurring in the fall and less in the off-season, considered to be spring and summer.  Loadings can go up to four million boxes a week during the season and only about two-and-a-half million boxes when not in season.

California grapes – grossing about $5100 to Atlanta.

California Orange Shipments

With harvesting of the California Navel orange crop under way, there is a  pre-season estimate of nearly a 10 percent increase in volume.  California is projected to ship an estimated at 86 million cartons this season, with all but 3 million of that coming from the Central San Joaquin Valley.   This would represent an 8.5 percent increase over last year’s volume.

A survey of orchards indicate a fruit set per tree of 412 in California’s 122,000 acres of bearing trees. That number is 20 percent higher than the five-year average of 336.

California citrus shipments occur from October into July, with the January to April time frame being the peak season.  California is bracing for above-average rainfall for the first time in five years as the El Nino weather condition is expected to drop a lot of water, especially in the southern half of the state. The Central Valley runs from the south to the north, but the majority of citrus groves are in the southern half.

California citrus – grossing about $6600 to Boston.


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California Seasonal Shipping Areas are Now in Transition

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 DSCN4528This isn’t one of the better times of the year for hauling produce from California as seasonal shifts to different growing areas or varieties are underway, with items ranging from lettuce to citrus and strawberries.

California Produce Shipments

Lettuce shipments continue from Huron in California’s San Joaquin Valley, but a shift is slowly taking place to the desert of Yuma, AZ to be followed shortly by the nearby Imperial Valley in California.

Yuma lettuce shipments should hit decent volume within about a week.  Shipments have been light out of California and Arizona for weeks and could very well remain lighter than normal through Thanksgiving, if not the end of the year.

Romaine volume is particularly light and you should use caution hauling this product coming out of Huron.    Warmer than normal weather during October is resulting in romaine growing too fast, leading to some quality issues – particularly with the product going to seed.

Lettuce shipments shifted from Salinas to Huron the last half of October.  Now the shift is from the short Huron harvest to Yuma and the Imperial Valley.

California Citrus Shipments

Valencia shipments are coming to a seasonal end, while light loadings of navel oranges have started from Central and Southern California, as well as Arizona.

California Strawberry Shipments

While Salinas and Santa Maria strawberry shipments are nearly finished for the season, light, but increasing volume is taking place from Ventura County.

California Grape Shipments

Meanwhile, grapes continue to provide some of the heaviest volume out the San Joaquin Valley.  Loadings are averaging over 1,700 truck loads per week.

Central San Joaquin Valley grapes, other items – grossing about $5400 to Atlanta.



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