Posts Tagged “citrus shipments”

Citrus Shipments Take Off with Shoppers Seeking Vitamin-C Rich Foods

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Fresh citrus shipments as well as orange juice loadings have taken off in recent weeks as shoppers nationwide stock up on vitamin-C packed food and drink items.

California Citrus Mutual of Exeter, CA reports strong supplies of oranges and mandarins as demand increases. The organization notes California fresh citrus volume is capable of meeting consumer demand. Additionally, the Florida orange juice industry has ramped up production.

The U.S. citrus industry has experienced higher demand in the recent weeks for fresh oranges and mandarins due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While demand has started to slow from its peak, shipments are still up. Shipments to the foodservice industry has taken a massive hit, with lemons currently affected the most. However, overall volume for fresh citrus has improved because of consumer demand for nutritious products high in Vitamin C.

This increase comes at a challenging time for the U.S. citrus industry as it faces with citrus greening disease – which had a negative impact on California and Florida crop in past seasons, though the industry saw a slight comeback this year.

Orange juice leaps in sales Although markets are experiencing extreme downturns on average, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows that frozen orange juice concentrates are performing better than ever before. Soaring 25% in the past month, the market for orange juice is up in a big way.

According to Nielsen data on retail sales of orange juice, provided by the Florida Department of Citrus, frozen orange juice sales have jumped 27 percent.

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Veg-Fresh Farms to Market Redlands Foothill’s Citrus

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A partnership has been formed between Veg-Fresh Farms of Corona, CA and citrus grower-packer Redlands Foothill Groves, allowing Veg-Fresh to ship citrus the year-round.

Based in Redlands, CA, the citrus cooperative has over 80 growers of navels, Valencias, grapefruits and lemons, which are packed in the last operating packinghouse in San Bernardino County, according to a news release.

“In addition, being located just 30 miles from our Corona facility, it provides our customers the logistic advantage that we have found so valuable being located in the Inland Empire,” Veg-Fresh managing partner Dino Cancellieri Jr. said in the release.

The partnership will expand retail and foodservice opportunities, Veg-Fresh Farms citrus director Jacob Garcia said, referring to the 96-year-old Redlands Foothill Groves as a “storied packinghouse” that has continued to invest in fruit-grading technologies to improve packing.

Veg-Fresh packs under the Veg-Fresh Farms, Crystal Cove Berry Farms and Good Life Organic labels.

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Good California Citrus Volume Seen by Fruit World

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A full lineup of citrus shipments in good volume is seen this season by Fruit World Co. of Reedley, CA.

The conventional and organic fruit grower and shipper has an uninterrupted supply of organic mandarins through the California season, as well as supplies of conventional stem and leaf mandarins, according to a news release.

“We’re excited to be entering citrus season with a robust organic and conventional mandarin program, which this year includes five varieties of organic mandarins and the earliest availability of conventional California mandarins,” CJ Buxman, co-founder of Fruit World and an organic mandarin grower in the San Joaquin Valley, said in the release.

Buxman grows organic satsumas, clementines, Page, Tango and Gold Nugget mandarins, with supplies shipping from November to June. Fruit World expects to increase organic mandarin volumes 20 percent this season.

The company has a year-round California organic lemon program, with peak shipping from November to March. Organic grapefruit ships in early October, followed by navels in late October. Navels peak December through February.

Other varieties, including car acaras, blood oranges, meyer lemons and Minneola tangelos, start shipping in late December, according to the company.

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National Citrus Shipping Report is Looking Favorable

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Good volume citrus shipments are expected this season from California and Texas, but the big news could be this may be the year of a turn around for Florida, which has been clobbered in recent years by citrus greening and hurricanes.

Florida citrus shipments may be up a little this year, and that may be a big deal.

The first recently released forecast by the USDA shows a moderate increase in Florida citrus shipments during the 2019-20 season.

The USDA’s first estimate for 2019-20 Florida orange loadings is 74 million boxes, up 3.4 percent from last season. The agency projected Florida grapefruit volume at 4.6 million boxes for the 2019-20 season, up 2 percent from the previous crop. Florida’s combined tangerine and mandarin crop is forecast at 1.05 million boxes, 6 percent higher than a year ago.

“This incremental increase is good news for the industry as we continue to recover from Hurricane Irma and the devastating effects of citrus greening,” Michael Sparks, executive vice president and CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a news release. “We believe that this number — if it holds throughout the year — will strike a nice balance of getting the processors the oranges they need while firming up prices to the Florida citrus grower.”

Sparks said growers are slowing building output after declines caused by citrus greening disease pressures.

“We are not out of the woods but we are making gains,” Sparks said in the release.

The USDA issues its first estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly during the harvest until the end of the season in July.

“This reflects what we’ve been hearing from growers,” Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, said in a release. “Florida Citrus is here to stay.”

That sentiment was echoed by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

“Today’s forecast reflects the resilience of Florida’s citrus growers, dedication to the citrus industry, and commitment to innovation in the face of challenges,” Fried said in the release. “Citrus is Florida’s signature crop, and we’re committed to supporting our citrus producers with new research, technology, and techniques to fight the spread of citrus greening.”

California, Texas Shipments 

In California, navel orange shipments are predicted to be at 47 million boxes, down 6 percent from last season’s final estimate.

The California valencia orange forecast is 9 million boxes, unchanged from last season. Texas orange Volume is forecast at 2.70 million boxes, up 8 percent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, the combined tangerine and mandarin forecast for California is 23 million boxes, down 12 percent from last season.

Grapefruit loadings in California is forecast at 4.2 million boxes, up a whopping 32 percent compared to last season.

Texas grapefruit shipments are projected at 5.7 million boxes, down 7 percent from last year.

Lemon volume in 2019-20 is forecast at 20 million boxes in California, 12 percent less than last season. Arizona lemon output is pegged at 1.4 million boxes, 4 percent higher than last season.

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Good Volume Fruit Shipments From California are Expected Through Summer

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More favorable weather for growing crops has California fruit shipments looking better than at this time last year.

At Anthony Vineyards of Bakersfield, it should start grape shipments from the Coachella Valley within in the next week, which will continue through June. The grape loadings will be shifting to the San Joaquin Valley, where the vast amount of California grape shipments originate. Another big crop exceeding 110 million boxes is expected.

Citrus Shipments

The California citrus industry has been disappointed overall, mainly due to weather factors. However, summer citrus shipments are now looking more favorable with late season valencias replacing navel oranges. Valencias should be available until the Fourth of July.

Grower/shipper Limoneira Co. of Santa Paula, believes California lemon loadings will be off 10 to 15 percent this year as the season ends this month.

Trinity Fruit Sales Co. In of Fresno notes the California mandarin crop is one of the state’s largest. As a result, product which normally winds down in April will be shipped through May. As the company’s domestic season comes to a close it will be importing mandarins for the first time from Peru, Chile and Uruguay,

Melon Shipments

Domestic melon shipments should be plentiful this season. Five Crowns Marketing of Brawley, CA has just started loadings of Origami cantalouple and will continue in the desert through June. The company’s Mexican watermelons are now moving in good volume, and continuing through May, before shifting to Arizona.

Westside Produce of Firebaugh, CA is now shipping cantaloupes and honeydews and will continue in good volume into October.

Stone Fruit Shipments

San Joaquin Valley stone fruit shipments are underway and Trinity Fruit of Fresno anticipates one of its biggest crops. Simonia Fruit Co. of Fowler, CA is expressing optimism for its peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots.

Berry Shipments

California berry shipments were down heading into Easter, however volume is shaping up well for strawberries, blackberries and raspberries from Watsonville and Santa Maria through the summer and well into the fall.

California blueberry shipments should be good through late spring before transitioning to Oregon and British Columbia during the summer months.

Stemilt Growers LLC of Wenatchee, WA just started its California cherry harvest. Last year, California produce only 4 million boxes, but a substantial increase is expected this season.

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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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Shipping Outlook for Kern County Produce, Almonds and Texas Potatoes

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DSCN0612California’s Kern County citrus shipments are wrapping up, while new crops of vegetables will be starting soon.  Meanwhile, California almonds look promising for the upcoming season. Finally, Black Gold Farms once again is shipping Texas potatoes.

For example, Grimmway Farms of Bakers will kick off its new carrot season with loadings of both conventional and organic carrots starting this week.  The firms bi-color corn got underway a week or so ago, plus it’s organic potatoes started shipping in late April.

Kern Ridge Growers of Arvin now has carrot shipments, with bell peppers set to start by early June.  Dan Andrews Farms of Bakersfield will get underway with watermelons in June, as well as cantaloupe and honeydew in July.

Sun World International is currently shipping grapes out of the Coachella Valley to be followed by Arvin grapes in early July.

Kern County carrots and vegetables – grossing about $6100 to Atlanta.

California Almond Shipments

California’s 2017 almond acreage is estimated at 1.33 million acres, up 7  percent from the 2016 acreage, which had  1.24 million acres.  The almond harvest typically begins in August.

Of the total acreage, 1 million acres were bearing and 330,000 acres were non-bearing, with preliminary bearing acreage for 2018 estimated at 1.07 million acres.  California has nearly 6,000  almond growers.  Five California counties have 73 percent of the total bearing acreage: Kern, Fresno, Stanislaus, Merced and Madera.

The leading almond variety continues to be nonpareil, followed by monterey, butte, carmel and padre.

Texas Potato Shipments

Black Gold Farms, based in Grand Forks, ND is now shipping red potatoes from its operation in Pearsall, Tx.  The growing and shipping operation, located Southwest of San Antonio, has been growing red potatoes in Pearsall since 2011, though its potato growing operation there started in 1992 with chipping potatoes,

Black Gold Farms is shipping from its Pearsall facility as well as from its Arbyrd, Mo., facility, with the Texas crop expected to ship through early June, when the Missouri crop will be ready.

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Canadian Tomato Imports are Increasing; Further Citrus Decline is Projected

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DSCN0447Imports of tomatoes by U.S. tomato imports was unchanged in 2017, while Mexico continues to be the dominant supplier, although imports from Canada are increasing….Meanwhile, further plunges in citrus shipments are seen in years ahead.

Total fresh tomato imports in 2017 amounted to $2.177 billion, down 4 percent from 2016. Volume of all U.S. tomato imports came to 1.78 million metric tons, unchanged from 2016..

The USDA reports imports from Mexico accounted for 85 percent of the value ($1.842 billion, down 6 percent from 2016) and 90 percent of the volume (1.612 million metric tons, unchanged from a year ago) of tomato imports.

Canadian Tomatoes Increase

Imported tomatoes by the U.S. from Canada were up both in volume and value. U.S. imports of Canadian tomatoes in 2017 were $312.9 million, up 13 percent from 2016. Volume of Canadian tomatoes shipped to the U.S. was 165,400 metric tons, up 7 percent from 2016.  Canada represented 14 percent of the value and 9 percent of the volume of total U.S. tomato imports.

The Dominican Republic and Guatemala shipped lesser tomato volumes to the U.S., together accounting for less than 1 percent of total U.S. tomato imports.

Citrus Decline is Predicted

Noticeable  decreases in Florida’s citrus shipments are projected to be an issue for U.S. citrus over the next 10 years, according a new report from the USDA’s long term projections issued in mid-February.

Over the next decade, fruit, tree nuts and vegetable shipments are forecast to increase at a modest 0.6 percent annually, when measured by farm weight.

Citrus, however, will suffer declines in shipments during the next decade, plunging from 17.49 billion pounds in 2018 to 14.04 billion pounds by 2027, a drop of 20 percent.

“While the value of production is expected to grow over the next decade due to higher prices, citrus production continues to decline slowly over the projection period, primarily due to loss of bearing acreage in Florida and the spread of citrus greening, a citrus disease spread by insects for which no cure currently exists,” the USDA report states.

The report said citrus greening has the potential to threaten the “entire citrus industry if not closely monitored.”

The USDA said declines in citrus production are projected to be offset by increases in non-citrus fruit.

The value of U.S. fruit, vegetable and nut production will top $65.8 billion by calendar year 2027, up from nearly $52 billion in 2018.  The value of production will grow about 2.7 pecent per year for fruits, nuts and vegetables. Of the total value, fruits contribute nearly 40 percent of the total value, tree nuts 18 percent and vegetables 42 percent.

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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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SeaLand’s Technology to Monitor Produce in Transit; CA Citrus Packing Acquisition

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Sealand-web-picRemote container management technology is being introduced by Sealand, providing exporters and importers the ability to monitor conditions of fruits and vegetables from inside the containers in which they are shipped.

SeaLand, Maersk Transport and Logistics division’s regional ocean carrier to the Americas, said in a news release the technology monitors temperature, humidity, oxygen levels and the location and ventilation of the containers in transit, whether on land or at sea.

“Moving fresh produce to and from markets in the Americas is an exciting and important business,” Sealand CEO Craig Mygatt said in the release. “Consumers today want access to fresh produce all year long. We’re making that possible whether it’s bananas and pineapples from Costa Rica and Panama to the U.S. or tropical and exotic fruits such as mangoes.

Porterville Citrus acquires packing operations of LoBue Citrus

Sunkist citrus shipments will increase this season, with a member of the cooperative acquiring another shipper.

Porterville Citrus of Terra Bella, CA is a Sunkist grower who has acquired the packing operations of LoBue Citrus of Lindsay, CA., according to a news release.

Under the terms, the LoBue family will continue to own and operate its 1,000-acre citrus farming operation.

“LoBue Citrus has a rich history in the industry, and we are pleased to be able to help them continue that legacy through our organization,” Jim Phillips, president of Porterville Citrus said. “The purchase also marks further growth for Porterville Citrus, positioning us for a strong season ahead.”

For the 2017-18 season, Porterville Citrus will integrate the LoBue Citrus packing facility in Lindsay into its operations and also add a large portion of the organization’s grower network. That will increase the navel orange, mandarin, lemon and specialty acreage of Porterville Citrus and the Sunkist cooperative as a whole”.

“It’s a great to start the season by adding more high quality volume to our mix,” Russ Hanlin, president and CEO of Sunkist Growers said.

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