California pomegranate deals were running a week ahead of schedule in early September.

Harvest of wonderful variety pomegranates in orchards south of Fresno, Calif., should begin the last week of September, according to a news release from the Sonoma, Calif.-based Pomegranate Council.

Wonderfuls account for more than 80% of California pomegranates.

Growers expect normal volumes of wonderfuls this year. Earlier pomegranate varieties have already started shipping, Jeff Simonian, sales manager of Fowler, Calif.-based Simonian Fruit Co., said in the release.

“The early varieties have moved smoothly into the distribution channels, and the decks are now cleared for the wonderful variety,” Simonian said. “Retailers are finding strong demand for the early varieties, but there are still some retailers who hold heavy promotion until the wonderfuls arrive.”

Los Angeles-based Pom Wonderful, the principal grower-shipper of wonderfuls, expects to begin shipping the first week of October, the company’s Tom Rouse said in the release. Harvest should last into early November.

Pom Wonderful expects sizes to peak on 22s and 30s, but the company should have promotable volumes of all sizes, Rouse said.

California is expected to ship more than 6 million boxes of pomegranates to the fresh market this season, Tom Tjerandsen, the council’s manager, said in the release.