Minneolas are a major part of the Peruvian export program to the U.S., said Mark Greenberg, senior vice president of procurement and chief operating officer, Fisher Capespan, Montreal. The company has an affiliated office in New Jersey and distributes produce from Central and South America throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Fisher Capespan expects to import about the same tonnage of Peruvian citrus this year as it did last year, and expects its first arrivals of minneolas in mid-July, with sales lasting through the end of August or into early September.
In May, Greenberg said he was not yet sure what volume of minneolas would be shipped into the U.S., but he estimated that 250 to 300 containers, or 5,000 to 6,000 tons, would be shipped to various receivers on the East and West coasts.
Greenberg said the Peruvian minneola is a good fruit.
“The product shows bright orange with a nice shape and it’s very sweet and juicy,” he said.
Weather conditions caused a larger fruit drop than normal during fruit set for satsumas, Del Castillo said. While that results in lower production, it also typically results in larger fruit sizes. Fruit quality was good in May, and growers had similar expectations for the minneola crop.
David Mixon, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Seald Sweet International, Vero Beach, Fla., said he expected a good season for minneolas, with good exterior appearance, sizing and color.
Seald Sweet expects to have minneolas available by the third or fourth week of July, with availability through August or early September.
Although minneolas are a good product and the orchards produce good yields, Masias said La Calera is focusing more on w. murcotts.
The variety is La Calera’s most important variety in terms of growth in volume, Macias said. The company currently produces 3,000 tons of w. murcotts, and expects that volume to grow to 17,000 tons within five years.
W. murcott, a late-season mandarin, is another major citrus item imported from Peru, Greenberg said. Like a clementine, it is easy to peel.
Fisher Capespan expects w. murcotts from Peru to begin arriving about the first week of August, with availability through the first or second week of September, Greenberg said.
Seald Sweet International, Vero Beach, Fla., expects to have Peruvian w. murcotts available for four to five weeks beginning in mid-July, Mixon said. They likely will be available before Chile’s crop, so they serve as a good bridge to Chile’s clemengold variety season.