Marketers expect ample summer citrus supplies, varieties

05/31/2012 03:13:00 PM
Tom Burfield

Sunkist’s California valencia crop volume this season is expected to be a normal 10 million to 11 million cartons, and the company will bring in small volumes of navels and cara caras from South Africa and Chile.

Sunkist continues to offer lemons year-round from California and Arizona.

St. Laurent, Quebec-based-based Fisher Capespan is a major figure in the South African deal, importing citrus to Canada and the U.S., said Paul Marier, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

The company has a strong navel program that will continue until the end of September, and the midnight variety, a seedless valencia, the last three weeks of October.

The firm also has a good clementine program, he said, and a 3-year-old grapefruit program that has been growing every year.

Grapefruit production still remains relatively light, but the firm should have enough of the fruit to service a few accounts well. The eight-week program will start in early July.

Fisher Capespan also will import navels, clementines and some lemons from Chile, where growers faced tough weather challenges last year.

“This year, the weather has been kinder to them,” Marier said.

DNE’s navels and clementines from South Africa should arrive in Philadelphia the third week in June said Tom Cowan, South African citrus manager.

Navels will continue strong through August and finish by mid-September, when the seedless midknight variety will be available until early November.

Clementines will peak in June and July and continue through August when late mandarins arrive.

South African clementines should be larger than those from Chile, have a high brix level and “should be good-eating fruit,” Cowan said.

Navels will be about one size smaller than last year, heavy on 72s then 88s and 64s with about 25% of the crop size 56s or larger, he said.


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