Posts Tagged “imported citrus”

East Coast Buyers Choosing Imported over Domestic Citrus this Year

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U.S. domestic citrus shipments are down overall this year due to lack of volume out of Florida, combined with cost of truck rates from the West Coast. This has resulted in East Coast buyers turning to imports. 

The U.S. imports citrus mainly from Mexico, as well as Chile, Peru, and South Africa. In 2023, Mexico exported 1.6 billion pounds of citrus to the United States.

International Fruit Company of Hammonton, NJ reports imports are increasing from Morocco primarily due to the low costs. This year, production of Nadorcott mandarins in Morocco has increased by 20% in volume.

“The company reports if you want to ship fruit from the West to the East Coast, it can cost $10,000. However, from the East to the West, rates go down to $6,000. 

East Coast buyers are looking to Morocco, Egypt, or even South Africa because costs are much lower. 

There is a similar situation with Argentine lemons. It comes in through the East Coast at a competitive price, and it’s much cheaper to market there directly. 

East Coast imports typically will reach as far west as Texas.

There is a good supply of lemons in California at the moment, so exporters would rather send their fruit to the East Coast where prices are more competitive. 

Comparing total import volumes, the balance between what comes into the East Coast vs. the West is about 80 percent to 20 percent, company notes. 

Import volumes to the West increase only during the California off-season from around May and October.  During the season, local producers supply much of the market. 

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Imported Chilean Mandarins Now Being Shipped by Bee Sweet Citrus

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Chilean mandarins are now available from Bee Sweet Citrus of Fowler, CA.

As California’s citrus domestic season is winding down, the marketer is shifting focus to the company’s summer citrus line, according to a news release.

“Off-shore mandarins have arrived at Bee Sweet Citrus, signaling the start of our summer import program,” Joe Berberian, Bee Sweet citrus sales representative, said. “Over the next few weeks, we will also receive Chilean lemons and navel oranges to help our customers meet year-round demand for citrus.”

Bee Sweet Citrus is currently harvesting domestic star ruby grapefruit, lemons, valencia oranges and royal red oranges, the release said.

Chilean mandarins are also available; Chilean lemons are expected to arrive by the first of July, and navel oranges the second week of July, according to the release.

“All imported product is brought to our main facility where it undergoes a thorough quality inspection before it’s shipped out to customers,” Berberian said in the release. “Our customers also have the option to repack any offshore product to meet specific pack styles throughout the program.”

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Steady Arrival of Citrus Shipments Reported by U.S. Importer

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As the Northern Hemisphere citrus season comes to a close and the Southern Hemisphere season begins, Salix Fruits, a leading company in the import and export of fresh fruits, said shipments of citrus are arriving steadily.

According to Alejandro Moralejo, CEO of Salix Fruits, South Africa, the major citrus supplier in the Southern Hemisphere has grown in all citrus varieties.

“The first week of April, RSA (South Africa) started with lemon shipments to the Middle East, their most important market, and to Canada,” he said.

Currently, the U.S. is also sourcing the last shipments of lemons from Mexico while Argentina is starting its shipments to Canada, along with Russia and other parts of Europe. Moralejo said that despite the summer drought in Argentina, lemon volumes are guaranteed for all markets.

On the other hand, the mandarin market is the only one still covered by the Northern Hemisphere. The U.S. is sourcing the last shipments of mandarins from Morocco, while Chile and Peru are waiting for their crops to be ready.

“Peru will start the early mandarin season in the next few weeks. It will be the late mandarin supplier to Northern Hemisphere markets. The earliest fruit is waiting for market windows in the Northern Hemisphere,” said Moralejo.

In all, Moralejo noted that it is a season with an earlier window for the Southern Hemisphere citrus because of the lack of product from Spain, Morocco and Turkey, though later production will continue from Mexico, Spain, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco.

Moralejo said there is strong demand in the U.S. and Canada for imported citrus, and Salix will continue offering citrus from its sourcing regions including Argentina, South Africa, Chile, Peru and Uruguay.

“We are very pleased with the supply from our Egypt office, which will give us a large volume for the next season in the Northern Hemisphere,” he said. “This is in addition to the excellent quality product from Spain and Morocco, where Salix has been present for the last two years.”

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LGS Specialty Sales Provides Update on 2020 Summer Citrus Season

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY  LGS Specialty Sales, a leading importer of citrus, avocados, grapes, and persimmons shares an overview of the various commodities offered throughout the summer months. During the summer citrus season, LGS sources lemons, navels, minneolas, mandarins and cara cara oranges to the U.S. for its Darling Citrus® line.

While LGS imports lemons regularly throughout the year, the company is experiencing a strong summer lemon season from Argentina and Chile.

** Argentinian lemon season began in May and will last throughout August. 

** Chilean lemon season began in late June and anticipates going through early October.

LGS provides other varieties of citrus throughout the summer and looks forward to the arrival of the following fruit: 

  • Navel season takes place from July through October.
  • Minneola season is also on the horizon from mid-July through September. LGS anticipates a similar season to last year with a slight increase in volume. 
  • Mandarin season – W. Murcottswill also be available in mid-July from Peru followed by Chile. The mandarins are showing a great color and brix/acid ratio, which results in a sweeter fruit. 
  • Cara Cara season will be available late July through September.
  • About LGS Specialty Sales, Ltd.

    LGS Specialty Sales, Ltd. has been importing fruit from select growers around the world for close to 30 years. Today, LGS is a leading importer of clementines, oranges, avocados, grapes, lemons, minneolas, cara cara oranges and persimmons.

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Duda is Importing Citrus to the U.S. for the 17th Season

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OVIEDO, FL– After concluding a successful domestic citrus season in the United States, Duda Farm Fresh Foods launched its imported citrus program for the 17th consecutive summer.

Beginning mid-May through October, Duda imports citrus to the U.S. from the southern hemisphere.

During the 2019 season, Duda introduced Argentinian lemons. Available in stores now, Chilean easy-peeler clementines display vibrant colors and a premium sugar-to-acid ratio, which results in a sweeter flavor perfect for late summer snacking. Duda’s line of imported citrus, sold under the Dandy® label, includes clementines, lemons, navels and Cara Cara oranges.

“Preserving our relationships with growers in the southern hemisphere for over 17 years now is a great accomplishment and one we are very proud of,” said Alberto Cuellar, vice president of global business at Duda Farm Fresh Foods. “As consumer demand for citrus in the summer increases, we will continue to meet that need through our citrus import program.”

Once the domestic market is out of the citrus growing season, Duda ensures their customers receive fresh-tasting fruit year-round by maintaining its long-lasting relationships with growers in the southern hemisphere. The brand primarily has sourced fruit from Chile, Peru and Uruguay, and looks to continue bringing high-quality products with new additions from Morocco and Argentina.  

“At Duda Farm Fresh Foods, we are constantly improving our citrus variety to provide quality fruit for our customers year-round,” said Dan Duda, president of Duda Farm Fresh Foods. “Importing citrus from our growers in the southern hemisphere allows us to provide a solution to seasonal gaps in the U.S. market.”

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Domestic Citrus Loadings are Increasing after Slow Start

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U.S. citrus shipments should be up this season in most growing areas compared to last year, and despite challenges in some areas, growers contend they are shipping some good-quality fruit.

During the late fall in California, the navel orange season got off to a rough start.

The San Joaquin Valley was unusally hot last summer, where most of the state’s oranges are grown. At one point, temperatures topped 100 degrees for more than 30 days straight, which shut down the trees.

As a result, sizing on the fruit, especially the early varieties, was unusually small.

Rainfall around Thanksgiving and in December and early January was helping to improve fruit size. Early this season, citrus growers nationwide had to deal with Southern Hemisphere fruit lingering in the domestic market for longer than usual. There was plenty of questionable quality.

This resulted in October, November and December being sluggish.

But as supplies of imported citrus wound down and domestic movement picked up, markets seemed to be improving. Market improvements finally arrived with the New Year.

Florida’s citrus industry still is recovering from the effects of Hurricane Irma, which hit the state in September 2017, wiping out a large part of the orange and grapefruit crops.

During the 2017-18 season, the state shipped only 45 million 90-box equivalents of oranges, 3.9 million boxes of grapefruit and 750,000 boxes of tangerines.

Hurricane season now is over for Florida growers, but they’re keeping their fingers crossed until March or so, when the threat of freezes should be over.

Up to 95 percent of the Florida’s oranges are grown for processing.

Citrus movement in Texas started off a bit slower than usual this season, mostly because of the large amount of imported fruit remaining the in the distribution pipeline, which slowed shipments. While loadings picked up for Christmas, volume still was behind the previous season.

Still, Texas citrus shipments should be greater this season than last.

Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus, plus Mexican produce crossings – grossing about $4800 to New York City.

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Bee Sweet Citrus Sees Strong Summer Import Season; Apples in Storage Up over Last Year

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DSCN2885+1by Bee Sweet Citrus

FOWLER, Calif., –  Bee Sweet Citrus Sales Manager Joe Berberian welcomes the start of Bee Sweet’s 2017 summer import program.

“Bee Sweet Citrus is grower, packer and shipper of premium California citrus,” said Berberian. “While our domestic season has come to an end, we can continue to provide exceptional citrus to our consumers through our summer import program.”

For over 15 years, Bee Sweet Citrus has been developing close ties with both Chilean and Peruvian citrus growers. In order to ensure that all imported products are safe, fresh and of high quality, the Bee Sweet Citrus Food Safety and Quality Control team ensure that all products are certified and audited in food safety, social accountability and sustainability.

“All imported citrus is sent straight to our facility where it’s re-graded to ensure the high quality,” said Bee Sweet Citrus Sales Representative Jason Sadoian. “Additionally, we offer our customers the ability to repack and reconfigure the fruit to any specific pack style that they may want during the program.”

Between May and October, Bee Sweet Citrus receives imported Clementines, Navel Oranges, Cara Caras, Minneolas and lemons. In addition, the Bee Sweet Citrus sales team handles all import clearance, logistics, inventory and conducts weekly market analysis calls with their international partners.

About Bee Sweet Citrus

A grower, packer and shipper of California citrus,  the company was founded in 1987>  It is a family owned and operated company, and ships over 20 different varieties of citrus.

Apple Shipments

Thanks to a large amount of red delicious and gala apples, May 1 fresh market apples remaining to be shipped to at 38.7 million cartons, up 16% from a year ago and 7% more than the five-year average of 36 million cartons.
The U.S. Apple Association reported fresh market holdings on May 1 were 38.7 million cartons, up from 33.4 million cartons in 2016 but down from 44.9 million cartons to 2015.
Washington fresh apples in storage stood at 35.9 million cartons, which accounted for 93% of total U.S. fresh supplies.

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Strong Summer Citrus Imports are Seen

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DSCN7619Imports of Southern Hemisphere citrus continues to increase as American consumers are becoming more accustomed to purchasing citrus year-round.  Improving quality and taste are cited as factors.

As navel oranges, minneolas and clementines experience increasing volume from the Southern Hemisphere, it opens up the window for more sales of citrus.

Seedless easy peelers such as Murcotts, and the mandarin varieties continue to be the most popular items in produce departments.   Imported citrus primarily arrives at three major ports in the West (Long Beach), Southeast (Florida) and Northeast (Philadelphia), reducing logistic and distribution costs.

Chile’s first shipment of Navels to the U.S. — comprising 7,960 boxes arrived in early June, a earlier than in 2015.

Importers are very optimistic for the season ahead.  Total global citrus exports from Chile (Navels, easy peelers and lemons) rose by 30 percent last year, and estimates are that volume is expected to climb another 10 percent in 2016. While the largest increase is expected for easy peelers, projected Navel volumes are also slightly higher than 2016, 68,261 tons compared to 67,644 tons in 2015.

Easy peelers are clearly the up and comers in citrus, because not only are they a great-tasting, but are convenient to eat.

Though just 9.9 percent of the citrus volume sold, Mandarins represented 36.4 percent of dollar sales in the U.S. retail market for the year September 2014 to September 2015.  By comparison, oranges, which form 30 percent of the category volume, represented a lesser share — 29.2 percent — of the overall spent.

Through early June, Chilean citrus exports were at 25,906 tons (just over 1.6 million boxes), 80 percent of which were destined for the U.S.  Exports to the U.S. market through early June included 121 tons of Navels, 14,069 tons of clementines and 6,349 tons of lemons.

The period June-August is the primary season for Chilean lemons.  Of all the lemons entering the U.S. from the Southern Hemisphere, Chile had an astounding 95 percent market share last year, shipping nearly 34,000 tons to the U.S.  This year, Chile’s exports of lemons totaled 20,372 tons by mid June, up 104 percent from last season.  Out of this volume, 55 percent were destined for North America,

YTD volume shipped to the North American market is 119 percent greater than the same time in 2015.  Despite the initial increase in volume shipped to this market,  it is expected to slow down, as the total forecast of 60,000 tons is four percent less than last year’s volume of 62,196 tons.

Peru shipments are expected to start arriving the first week of July.

California citrus is nearly finished, opening the door for imports that will last from from July well into October.

South African clementines, Cara Caras and other varieties were beginning to arrive at U.S. ports.   However, while South African citrus exports were running early and had good volumes, the total imported this season could be less than in previous years due to weather conditions.

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South African Citrus and Peruvian Avocados are Arriving at U.S. Ports

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Imported citrus and fruit from South Africa and Peru are now arriving at U.S. ports.

Fresh South African citrus is arriving from South Africa every 10 days through October at the Gloucester (NJ) Marine Terminal.

The season’s first break bulk ship  bearing South Africa citrus discharged June 23 at the marine terminal, located on the Delaware River.

There were 3,400 pallets.   South Africans will ship a total of about 30,000 or 40,000 pallets of citrus to the United States this season  This is 15th season for South African summer citrus in the U.S.  Beginning in 1999, the program had  50 tons of citrus, which has grown to around 41,000 tons per year.

Avocados from Peru

Avocado shipments are showing a significant increase this year with imported fruit from Peru.  By mid June around 125 million pounds of Peruvian avocados had arrived in the U.S., primarily to ports at Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia.  However the majority of avocados are destined for markets along the Eastern seaboard and in the Southeastern United States.  This amount of avocados coming to the U.S. from Peru this season is more than double of a year ago.






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