Chilean citrus to U.S. could increase 7%

05/31/2012 03:42:00 PM
Tom Burfield

The Argentine protocol has not been cleared for U.S. lemon shipments, he said. He is hopeful that will happen someday.

The company also has a small lemon deal from Chile to the U.S. and Japan from May to August to help ensure an even, 52-week supply.

Growers were optimistic about pricing potential for Chilean citrus.

“There’s a high expectation that the opening of the clementines is going to be very strong,” Milne said.

Early prices for cartons of 10 3-pound bags could reach up to $40 or more, he said in mid-May.

“It’s expected to be very bullish because of increased demand for easy peelers in this marketplace,” he said.

California’s winter crop set the stage for Chilean clementines.

“You’ve got demand for 2- or 3-pound bags on the retailer’s shelf pretty much year-round now,” Milne said.

It will be interesting to see how long those strong prices last, he said.

Meantime, he expects a “regular seasonal price” for navels.

“There’s not as much pent-up demand for the navels as there is on the easy peelers,” Milne said.

Lemons could enjoy strong pricing because of a perceived shortage in most areas, he said.


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