High demand has characterized this year’s South African summer citrus season.
As the season comes to a halfway point, shipments of 30,000 tons have already reached the U.S., according to a news release from the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum.
The demand is attributed to a few factors, mainly that domestic citrus product was in low supply by the time the South African fruit arrived. The South African citrus is strategically shipped to the U.S. during periods of low domestic supply to avoid competition.
“Virtually all domestic citrus products were gone from the marketplace when the first South African fruit arrived,” Suhanra Conradie, chief executive officer of the Citrusdal, South Africa-based forum, said in the news release. “This prepared retail stores to meet the consumer demand with South African citrus.”
This year, weather caused belated arrivals of some South African vessels. However, weather conditions also delayed other exporting countries.
Citrus distributors expect the remainder of the season to be consistent with the success of the first half. Midknight oranges have started to arrive in the U.S. This fruit is one of the most popular of the South African citrus products, Conradie said in the news release.
South African citrus product availability should last into November, before the domestic citrus market escalates.