“The grapefruit production forecast is basically unchanged but we will see more fresh-packed grapefruit in the market this year because processors aren’t paying such a high price this year,” Brocksmith said. “That is putting more grapefruit in the fresh marketplace and less in processing. It has taken some competitive pressures off supplies.”
Last year saw a truncated grapefruit season, which ended in mid-March.
Typically, Florida grapefruit runs through May.
On tangerines, Kevin Swords, Florida citrus sales manager for DNE World Fruit Sales, Fort Pierce, said quality was high.
“For the most part, quality-wise, we have had one of our best fallglo tangerine years I can ever remember in terms of quality and arrivals,” he said. “It’s very encouraging the way the season is turning out. We want to continue this momentum.”
Swords said volume isn’t significantly up or down to affect promotions, and the year could be one where retailers could promote smaller sizes vs. larger sizes like last year on certain varieties. Even though navel production is expected to be down a little, we still will have promotable volume.”
Noble World Wide, Winter Haven, finished harvesting early season fallglo tangerines on Oct. 19 and began packing sunburst tangerines on Oct. 22.
Quentin Roe, president, said sunburst quality is strong.
“They are just stunning,” he said in late October. “The fruit is coloring up nicely and brix is building.”
After hot temperatures and heavy rains brought an unfavorable start in September and October, Roe said the weather patterns changed and are bringing improved quality fruit.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in early November reported these prices for 4/5-bushel cartons of U.S. No. 1 Florida navels in Boston: $22 for 36s, 40s, 48s and 80s; $20-21 for 56s and $20 for 64s.
Last year in early November, the USDA reported those same cartons of navels in Boston selling for $20 for 40s, $20-21 for 48s, 56s, 64s and 80s and $16 for 125s.