Posts Tagged “lemon shipments”

Sunkist is Increasing Shipments of Lemons and Limes this Season

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Sunkist Growers of Valencia, CA is one of the state’s largest lemon shippers and is expanding its volume by adding multiple organic lemon growers this season to meet consumer and customer demand for year-round supply.

The company also has increased its lime volume by expanding it list of growers. 

Noting increasing lemon and lime demand compared with pre-COVID levels, foodservice demand continues to regain its footing following the pandemic.

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A Look at Loading Opportunities in the Weeks Ahead

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Here’s a glimpse at hauling availability now and in coming weeks for cherries, watermelons and berries

California cherry volume is low. Although this gorgeous looking and tasting fruit makes up only one percent of total volume in produce shipments, it’s one of the highest paying freight items for produce haulers.

The cost for a 16-pound case of cherries started the season in California at a whopping $58 per case, the highest in 7 years. U.S. cherry shipments get underway in late April and wraps up at the end of August. Traditionally, peak loadings occur in July before gradually decreasing. The United States is the 2nd largest producer of cherries in the world after Turkey.

The California cherry season is just the warm up for an action-packed 16 weeks, and is a prelude to big time shipper, the state of Washington.

Lime, Lemon Shipments

Mexico has experienced an abnormally wet and cold winter in Tabasco, the leading lime growing region. Shippers also report high freight rates also is contributing to the availability of limes. Lime volume is expected to remain lower than normal at least through June.

While cherry volume is limited right now, watermelons are in plentiful supply.

As an example, a 40,000-pound truckload of cherries is valued at $174,000. The same weight in watermelons is only worth $4,800!

Blueberry shipments are finally increasing as domestic U.S. production rises and are less reliant on imports to meet blueberry demand. Domestic blueberry shipping regions are ramping up as they head toward peak loadings from June to August.

Blackberry volumes also are on the upswing with increasing production in the Baja California, Mexico, and California. While raspberries are coming out of those same regions volume remains relatively low.

As for strawberries, volume and quality have been all over the board in recent weeks. Shipments are expected to be building and should continue through June.

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Lemon Imports from Turkey and Spain are Increasing

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Increased competition for domestic lemon growers and shippers is coming from other countries who are supplying more product to North America.

Salix Fruits LLC of Canton, GA reports for the first time, Turkey is becoming an important player in the North American lemon market. The fruit importer/exporter specializing in citrus notes the only fruit available in the U.S. during the northern hemisphere season was California. However, imported lemons from Spain got underway about five years ago. Now, Salix Fruits also is importing lemons from Turkey.

U.S. lemon shipments and supplies have been better this season than expected.

Spain also has a good crop as well as Turkey. But Turkey has seen rain recently, slowing imports down a little bit as its season comes to a close in mid February. Spain has a longer season because they have another variety called Verna. But that variety needs cold treatment for entering the U.S.” Depending on the year, the Spanish season can go until April/May.

With this amount of product in the market, prices are competitive and lower than last year. “Prices are about 10-15 percent lower than last year,” says Elortondo. “It’s competitive and demand is stable for lemons. It’s not like Persian limes for example, which have more seasonality because they’re also used for cocktails and during the summertime. Lemons have regular demand throughout the year.”

Availability of imported lemons in the U.S., like with many other commodities, has become very consistent throughout the year. Once the northern hemisphere seasons are over, Chile comes into the picture, and last year, Argentina was allowed to enter the U.S.

The first year many U.S. importers were cautious with Argentina and limited the number of loads they imported. However, good quality was reported with competitive prices, so heavier volumes are anticipated this next season, which will start in April. Turkey is expected to be a key player during the spring and summer months.

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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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Citrus Shipment Estimates for California and Texas are Reduced; California Garlic Update

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A355California and Texas orange shipping estimates have been lowered by the USDA….Meanwhile California garlic loadings are off to a good start.

The California shipments are pegged at 44 million boxes, down 1 percent from the USDA’s June projection.  Texas orange shipments of 1.88 million boxes, are down 11 percent from June.

The California valencias shipping forecast has been lowered 5 percent to 9 million boxes, on par with last season.

The forecast for California navel shipments remain steady at 35 million boxes, which is down 11 percent from the 2016-17 season.

While USDA lowered its estimate for Texas orange shipments, 1.88 million boxes still represents a 37 percent gain from last season.

The Florida orange shipping forecast of 44.95 million boxes was unchanged from the previous month, as June was the final update of the year.

In September, Hurricane Irma devastated citrus groves throughout the state.  In the 2016-17 season, Florida shipped 68.85 million boxes of oranges.

The estimate for early, midseason and navel varieties was 18.95 million boxes, down 43 percent from the 2016-17 season.

The Florida valencia shipping forecast was 26 million boxes, down 27 percent from 2016-17.


USDA estimates 2017-18 grapefruit shipments at 12.86 million boxes, down 7 percent from last month and down 26 percent from 2016-17.

Texas shipments are projected at 4.8 million boxes, 16 percent lower than the June estimate, but on par with last season.

Estimates for Florida and California were 3.88 million boxes and 4 million boxes, respectively. The projections have not changed since June, but the numbers represent a 9 percent drop from 2016-17 for California and a 50 percent drop for Florida.

Other Citrus

California is expected to ship 20 million boxes of mandarins and tangerines, down 5 percent from the June estimate and down 16 percent from the 2016-17 season.

The volume forecast for Florida is unchanged from last month — at 750,000 boxes — but down 54 percent from last year.

USDA estimates total lemon shipments at 21.8 million boxes, the same as June but down 2 percent from 2017-18.

Garlic Shipments

The domestic garlic crop has gotten off to a good start, and expectations are high for the 2018 season.  Christopher Rancy of Gilroy, CA expects to ship over 100 million pounds of garlic this season.  I it the largest crop the shipper has had in decades.

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Lemon Shipments to Remain Much Lighter than Normal for Weeks

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A375A California heat wave that started two weeks ago in the coastal region has brought on lemon ripening much more quickly than usual and product is dropping from trees.  Long story short, California lemon shipments will be much lighter than normal for the next two months.

Wonderful Citrus of Delano, CA has less than 20 percent of its lemons remaining on trees.  Lemoneira of Santa Paula, CA  reports the heat wave hit July 7th and has continued.

Overall, imported lemon volume has been down this summer and the situation will not improve anytime soon.

Imported Mexican lemons are expected to be off 15 to 20 percent due to a December cold front affecting trees in the colder regions of Mexico’s lemon growing regions in the north.  At the same time Chile is projecting a lemon crop very similar to last season, but their shipments to the U.S. are down by 30 percent compared to the same time last season.  Chilean adverse weather condition has slowed harvests and move back shipping dates.  Additionally, Argentina lemon imports have been less this season than anticipated.

Domestic lemon shipments from the California-Arizona desert region by the end of August, but only in very light volume.  Full volume from that area will not be available until the end of September.

Orange Shipments

The recently completed California orange shipping season has the last tabulation at 44 million boxes, down 1 percent from the USDA’s June projection. The estimate for valencias has been lowered 5 percent to 9 million boxes, on par with last season. The forecast for navels is steady at 35 million boxes, which is down 11 percent from the 2016-17 season.

The smaller navel crop — with that season normally running from October into June — was expected by the industry because of a couple of weather events.

The USDA forecast for the new season of California orange shipments will come out in September.





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Shipping Updates: CA Navels and Lemons; Plus WI and RRV Potatoes

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DSCN4971The California navel forecast of 86 million 40-pound cartons — up from 76 million last season — is larger than originally predicted.  Shipments are just starting out of the San Joaquin Valley.  Volume will be increasing as we get latter into October.

Central San Joaquin Valley fruits and vegetables – grossing about $6400 to New York City.

Lemon Shipments

Lemon shipments out of  California and Arizona from the desert growing region, which will provide most loadings for the next few months, with volume expected to be off by 15 to 20 percent compared to a year ago.  However, volume out of the San Joaquin Valley should be similar to a year ago.  Lemons shipments will continue out of the desert until December before moving to the San Joaquin Valley.

Wisconsin Potato Shipments

Wisconsin potato yields are expected to average 440 to 460 hundredweight per acre, which is considered very good.  A year ago, the Badger State averaged between 410 and 420 per acre, which also is considered to be good.  (add # shipments per week)  Harvest continues.

Central Wisconsin potatoes – grossing about $1000 to Chicago.

Red River Valley Potato Shipments

90 percent of the Red River Valley crop from North Dakota and Minnesota will be harvested in October.   Some potatoes have been going directly into the fresh market, but most are being placed into storage.  Average yields and shipments are seen for this season.

Grand Forks, ND red potatoes – grossing about $1750 to Chicago.




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