The availability of oranges year-round actually may hurt summer navel sales because they must compete with domestic peaches, plums, nectarines and melons, Galone said.
“People can get oranges year-round, so I think you lose some of the attraction from the consumer in the summer.”
It seems that consumers who want to enjoy oranges during the summer lean toward California valencias, Galone said — especially when school starts.
“We’ve been really pleased with what’s been going on with the valencias the last couple of months,” he said in early October.
“Prices have been strong, demand has been really good.”
California valencia growers who hold onto their valencias for the next five or 10 years could end up big winners, said Roy Bell, general manager of Cal Citrus Packing Co., Lindsay, Calif.
When growers don’t have the size or quality consumers seek for valencias, California valencias can go to the single-strength juice market, where demand now exceeds supply, he said.