Posts Tagged “U.S. ports”
Imports 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.
The Savannah, Ga., port will be authorized to accept commodities from Peru and Brazil that have undergone cold treatment. Brazil and Peru grapes and Peru blueberries and citrus, including mandarins, tangelos, clementines, tangerines, grapefruit and sour limes, are to be allowed, according to a news release. The cold treatment process prevents the transmission of agricultural pests and last year, the USDA approved a similar program for cold-treated Peru and Uruguay blueberries and grapes into Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Port of Miami.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Crowley Maritime Corp. Inc., imports produce and other commodities through the south Florida ports and ports in Jacksonville, Pennsauken, N.J., and Gulfport. The test program should help increase produce movement, something the Savannah port doesn’t handle much of. The program is said to be the next logical step to complement cold treatment conducted at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport. The port is looking to grow their perishables imports because they export a lot of poultry and refrigerated cargo.
Containers that fail cold treatment will be prohibited from entering the port and will not be offloaded from vessels but will be allowed to ship via sea to a northeastern port for retreatment or be returned to the country of origin, according to the release.
While South American fruit destined to customers in the Southeast has traditionally been shipped to northern U.S. ports, the addition of Savannah could reduce truck delivery times and allow fresher offerings for stores and longer shelf life for consumers.
The port plans to work closely with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to evaluate the application of cold treatment and to monitor its progress, according to the release.
If you’ve noticed fewer loading opportunities for Chilean fruit arriving by boat at U.S. ports on both coasts, you’re correct. However, less product has been coming mostly because of growing conditions in South America, not from a union port strike in Chile that has been on and off, but apparently is over, at least for now.
For exmple, Chilean blueberry exports are at 22,516 tons, compared to 34,000 tons the same time last year. However, blueberry exports are support to be increasing now.
Chile exported 8,356 tons of cherries this this season compared to 7,998 last year. Plum exports are unchanged from a year ago.
Stone fruits were hit harder by Chilean weather and the country has exported 2,252 tons of peaches compared to 6,425 tons last year. Nectarines are off 5,411 tons from a year ago compared to 2,828 tons this year. Apricots have also been down at 232 tons compared to 822 during the same period last year.
Last September several frosts hit Chile, with stone fruit and kiwifruit being hit the hardest. In mid-January, estimated losses 64 percent for Chilean peaches, 59 percent for nectarines and 63 percent for plums. Chilean kiwifruit losses were pegged at 60 percent.
Chilean grapes lead volume of that country fruit arrivals to America. Arrivals at ports is now peaking, but will taper off early than normal – probably March – due to later varieties being hit hardest by a freeze last September.
Over the past 25 years Chile has become a major player in global markets, in large part because its seasons are opposite that of the U.S. and a number of other countries. This allows it export to the U.S. for example, when many American produce items are out of season.
Produce haulers truck a lot of imported fresh fruit from various U.S ports to destinations across America and into Canada. The largest volume of imported fruit this time of year is from Chile, arriving at such U.S. ports as Philadelphia; Wilmington, NC; and Long Beach, CA.
However, at the Port of San Antonio, Chile, dockworkers have been on strike for the past week. It’s gotten so tense that police special forces have intervened.
If some sort of solution to the strike isn’t resolved soon, your loading opportunities at U.S. ports will be significantly affected – in a negative way. Chilean fruit arrivals reach a peak between now and stretching into March.
Information is somewhat sketcky, but demonstrations are persisting and shipments to the U.S. and elsewhere have been hindered by the strikes. Union representatives claim that the government has not honored a recent agreement, due to the stubbornness of a port connected company, which the unions says is unwilling to negotiate.
The second week of the strike would jeopardize the export of an estimated 1.5 million boxes of fresh fruit, worth an estimated $40 million. Even more losses are expected if the dispute remains unresolved.
It is estimated that in February there would be 6 million-plus cases per week of fruit being loaded on boats at the port for export. One union spokesman said of the situation, “this is war.”