Harvest volumes in Peru are a bit higher this year compared with last season, and export percentages look good as a result of weather conditions that prompted good-quality fruit, said Emilia Belaunde Leon, spokeswoman for ProCitrus, a trade association of Peruvian producers.
“We expect to send 16,000 metric tons (to the U.S.) this season, she said.
Peruvian exporters ship mandarins such as clementines, afourer, satsuma and nova, as well as minneola tangelos and some oranges.
Shipments started in mid-April and should continue until September.
Weather delayed exports a bit, even though the fruit had good internal quality by the end of February. Sizing will be a bit smaller this year, however.
“The hot weather we had has delayed the color change slightly,” she said.
Pests are not a problem in Peru, Belaunde Leon said.
“Peru is free from quarantine pests for citrus, except for fruit fly,” she said, adding that growers have been conducting eradication programs for fruit fly in the Lima and Ica areas, where the main export citrus fields are.
“All of our exporters work under GlobalGAP and Tesco certifications,” she said.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Oviedo, Fla., received its first Peruvian satsumas in mid-May and will offer them until about the third week of June, said Paul Huckabay, Western citrus sales manager.
“It seems like everything has been pretty smooth,” he said in mid-May.
Early reports indicated that the sugar content was good and growers were shipping a “better, smoother-colored piece of fruit” at the beginning of this season than they were last year.
“Overall, the opening of the season looks nice,” he said. “It’s setting up to be a nice summer.”
The company’s overall satsuma volume should be similar to last year’s, he said.
The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, was shipping Peruvian satsumas to Canada in mid-May, said James Milne, director of marketing and citrus category director.
Milne said growers had a good regular crop with good quality that was eating well.
The market had been awaiting the satsumas because of a gap since the California crop wound down.
Oppenheimer should have Peruvian satsumas until the first week of July.
In mid- to late July, the company will start shipping some minneolas to the U.S. and w. murcotts to Canada and the U.S. through September.
St. Laurent, Quebec-based Fisher Capespan will ship mostly minneolas, clementines, w. murcotts and a few manvels from Peru, said Paul Marier, senior vice president of sales and marketing.
The company also will have a small navel orange deal.
Minneolas are the firm’s biggest item and should start from Peru in mid-July and continue until early September for a six- to nine-week program.
Peruvian clementines and w. murcotts are top-quality products, though a newer program that growers are trying to perfect, he said. Last year they came off with no problems, he said.
Peruvian w. murcotts can fill in the gap between South African and Chilean clementines and w. murcotts, he said.
“All three complement each other,” Marier said.
Peruvian minneolas should be excellent and can be interchanged with product from South Africa and Chile, he said.
Peruvian growers are known for their minneolas, said Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, chief executive officer for Seald Sweet International, Vero Beach, Fla.
Seald Sweet will offer them from mid-July until the end of August.