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.