Posts Tagged “U.S. citrus shipments”

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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U.S. Citrus Shipments Crashed in 2017-18 Shipping Season

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A17U.S. citrus shipments crashed big time in the 2017-18 season.

American citrus loads plunged to 6.13 million tons last season, down 20 percent compared with 2016-17 season, and a whopping 66 percent less than the record high production of 17.8 million tons in 1997-98, according to the USDA.

Total fresh U.S. citrus shipments in 2017-18 were 3.308 million tons, off 7 percent from 2016-17 and 13 percent below 2015-16.

California represented 87 percent of all U.S. fresh citrus shipments in 2017-18, compared with 7 percent from Florida, 5 percent from Texas and 1 percent from Arizona.

Florida accounted for 36 percent of total U.S. citrus loadings, compared with 59 percent for California. Texas and Arizona shipped the remaining 5 percent.

Florida Citrus Shipments

Thanks to citrus greening disease and Hurricane Irma in 2017, Florida’s citrus volume continued to plunge in the 2017-18 season.

Florida’s orange shipments stood at 45 million boxes last season, which was down 35 percent from the previous season. Grapefruit volume in Florida, at 3.88 million boxes in 2017-18, crashed by 50 percent from the previous season.  Florida’s total citrus shipments decreased 37 percent from the previous season, the USDA said.

Fresh shipments of Florida citrus were rated at 221,000 tons, down 30 percent from 317,000 tons in 2016-17 and off 50 percent from 2015-16.

Bearing citrus acreage in Florida, at 400,900 acres in 2017-18, was 9,800 acres below the 2016-17 season.

In California, the USDA reported citrus loadings dropped 7 percent from the 2016-17 season. California’s total orange shipments, at 45.4 million boxes, was 6 percent lower than the previous season. The state’s grapefruit volume was down 9 percent from the 2016-17; tangerine and mandarin loadings were off 19 percent.

California’s fresh citrus shipments was 2.88 million tons in 2017-18, down 5 percent from 2016-17 and down 9 percent from 2015-16.
In Texas, loadings of citrus was up 9 percent  from the 2016-17 season. Orange volume is up 37 percent from the previous season, but grapefruit volume was unchanged.

Texas citrus shipments was 175,000 tons in 2017-18, up 8 percent from 2016-17 and 11 percent higher than 2015-16.

Arizona lemon loadings in 2017-18 was down 35 percent from last season.  Arizona fresh citrus shipments was 32,000 tons in 2017-18, down 29 percent 2016-17 and down 32 percent from 2015-16.

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