“But when you get down to these prices, you’ll take any incremental increase you can get,” Jacobson said. “Quarters look good.”
This season’s California navel crop, which should continue shipping strong into late May, has higher volumes this season, he said. The USDA estimates California navels at 40 million 75-pound boxes, up from 34 million last season.
Jacboson said the navels have been peaking at 88s, compared to last season’s 56s.
Though the rains have helped firm up navel pricing, markets may not hold against the pressure to keep moving fruit, said Mike Roberts, salesman for Suntreat Packing & Shipping Co., Lindsay, Calif. Though there haven’t been any arrival problems so far, shippers say the threat of quality problems will increase as warmer weather arrives.
Roberts said prices for California lemons have come down on larger sizes. He reported 40-pound cartons of 63s and 75s at $12.50. Size 95 and 115 lemons were selling $10.50, he said.