Posts Tagged “pomegranate shipments”

Pomegranates Dodge Storms During Summer Growing Season as Loadings Get Underway

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California pomegranates for the most part apparently dodged the bullet when Hurricane Hilary hit the West Coast several weeks ago.

Trinity Fruit of Fresno, CA reports this season’s fruit quality looks better than in previous years, with a little better size and yields.

The San Joaquin Valley experienced heavy rain and wind in August. Fortunately, Hilary was downgraded to a tropical storm before arriving in the central valley. Thus, the effects to the 2023 pomegranate crop appear to be minimal.

Trinity Fruit Co. of Fresno, CA began shipping in its proprietary Sweetheart varieties in early September, with Wonderful to follow in October and November.

Pom Wonderful of Los Angeles points out Hilary’s effects have been negligible thus far for the Wonderful variety. The grower, shipper will begin harvesting in early to mid-October. At John Vena Inc. in Philadelphia, the wholesale distributor will carry Wonderful pomegranates when peak season begins in October or early November.

Once the California pomegranate season finishes in December, the company will transition to counter-season fruit from Israel. In March, when the Israeli season typically ends, Vena will offer Wonderful pomegranates from Peru, where the season runs into June.

Vena notes the year-round availability of pomegranate is fueled by arils, as well as the country’s changing demographics.

Over 50% of the population has never had a pomegranate, so the growth potential is there, the company believes.

According to Circana Integrated Fresh multi-outlet data for the 52 weeks ending July 2, 2023, dollar sales for fresh pomegranates reached more than $160 million — a 16% increase over the previous year and 27.5% higher than two years prior. Unit sales grew more than 11%, and by volume increased more than 13% over the previous year.

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California Fall Pomegranate Shipments are Looking Favorable

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California pomegranates are a true fall fruit, with nearly all shipments of whole fruit moved from September through December.

2020 shipments of pomegranates from California were up 7% from in 2019, according to the USDA.

Suppliers report a good outlook for the pomegranate crop, despite hot weather during the growing season.

Pomegranate harvest started the first week in September for Trinity Fruit Co. of Fresno, CA.

The company markets a proprietary variety called Aco from Israel in September, and wonderful pomegranates begin the first week of October. Organic wonderful pomegranates also will be available in October.

Trinity Fruit expects a similar crop to last year, except its early crop will significantly increase due to new plantings coming into production. 

Because of hot weather, pomegranate coloring has been developing slower than usual, but quality is expected to be excellent. Whole fruit pomegranates will be marketed through December, while the company’s arils will continue into April.

Trinity Fruit reports increasing demand every year and this year is going to be no exception.

The company notes imports compliment California supply, resulting in nearly year-round availability of pomegranates and arils.

Flavor Tree Fruit Co. LLC. of Hanford, CA had its largest crop last year, and is expecting an even larger crop this season. 

The company expects to ship about 1.3 million 25-pound cartons of pomegranates.

Flavor Tree Fruit Co. has an aril production facility in Kern County, which is a fast growing business. Aril shipments start at the end of October and continue through February, or March if quality is good.

Whole pomegranate shipments may continue until about the second week of January at Flavor Tree, just long enough to have some fruit for Super Bowl parties.

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California Citrus Shipments Looking Good; Pomagranates Nearly Done

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dscn8640The outlook for California citrus shipments continues to be good despite recent freezes.  Meanwhile, pomegranate shipments have ended with limited exceptions.

California’s Central San Joaquin Valley had temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s a couple of weeks ago, but this is ideal for most citrus varieties for this point in the season.  Navel oranges and lemons are generally more cold tolerant than mandarin, or easy-peel, varieties such as Clementines, Murcotts, and Tangos, but with frost protection by wind machines the weekend temperatures proved favorable for all varieties. The cold weather will actually cause the maturation process of the fruit to slow, allowing for the fruit to store longer on the tree and maintain its flavor, external quality and color.

Much of the Central Valley’s mandarin crop is concentrated in Kern County, where temperatures hovered around 31 degrees the night of Dec. 18, which with the aid of wind machines is an ideal temperature point.   Similarly, in Tulare and Fresno Counties temperatures were well within preferable ranges.

Navel oranges, by contrast, can withstand cooler temperatures for longer durations. Wind machines were used on roughly one-third of the Central Valley navel crop — covering 44,000 acres — for an average of five hours on Saturday and Sunday nights.

California citrus – grossing about $5800 to New York City.


California pomegranate shipments this season are nearly over and, sooner than most had initially expected.  Simonian Fruit of Fowler, CA had just a few hundred boxes left Dec. 19th and were expected to be finished shipping by Christmas.

Heavy rains in late October took a toll on unharvested pomegranates significantly reducing volume. Pom Wonderful of Los Angeles experienced a decrease in volume of about 40 percent  due to the weather.  The company, which started shipping in mid-October completed its season earlier in December, with the exception of its arils variety, that will continue through January.  Another exception is Trinity of Fresno, CA, which is shipping the arils variety through February.  Trinity, as well as King Fresh of Dinuba, CA  and are both  down about 35 percent.

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Outlook for Fall Fruit Shipments from California

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DSCN4469While California’s overall fruit shipments in the fall may not match those of summertime, there are some exception when looking at individual commodities.  Here is a round up on leading California fruit shipments this fall.

Grape Shipments

At least 60 percent of California grape shipments occur after Labor Day and continue into January.  Since California is easy the biggest table grape shipping state, we are talking about a lot of fruit.  The shipping season actually started last May from the desert and the total season forecast calls for 116.5 million, 19-pound cartons to be shipped.  That is less than one million cartons away from last season record setting shipments.

Citrus Shipments

Larger volumes of  tangerinees (which includes mandarins) are forecast this fall.  Numbers are not yet available, but last season there were 26 million, 40-pound cartons of tangerines shipped….Navel orange loadings should become available sometime in October, with full volume coming in November — and in time for Thanksgiving shipments.

Kiwi Shipments

Kiwifruit loadings  are predicted to be about 7 million tray equivalents, similar to last season.

Pomegranate Shipments

Loadings of pomegranates have been increasing 20 percent annually in recent years, and volume once again should be bigger – estimated at 6 million 25-pound box equivalents.

Apple Shipments

California apple shipments pale in comparison to that of Washington state.   Shipments have been underway since late July and will last into November.

Strawberry Shipments

Peak shipments from the Watsonville area occurred during July and August.  There still good volume, but seasonally lower amounts are still occurring there.  In October, strawberry shipments will shift to Oxnard and the Baja California peninsula of Mexico.

Watsonville strawberries, Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $5600 to Cleveland.

Central San Joaquin Valley table grapes, stone fruit, vegetables – grossing about $6,600 to Orlando.


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