Market report by Mark Greenberg, CEO Capespan North America

Strong demand for easy peelers despite significantly higher arrivals

Citrus – Easy Peelers:
The easy peeler market on the USEC remains stable and buoyant on arrival volumes that remain unable to fully meet market demand. This is in spite of the fact that Chilean clementine shipments to the USA through week 22 are over 49% higher than last season.

The clementine harvest in Chile’s IV Region (Coquimbo) is wrapping up and the harvest in the Central Valley continues. This week saw some harvest interruption due to rain and there are reports of frost that has affected some soft citrus and navel orange groves. The damage from this frost won’t be known for another week although preliminary reports suggest that the damage is not severe. More chilly weather is expected this weekend.

Chile continues to favour the USA market with 99.8% of its total soft citrus loadings through week 22 headed that way. Through week 22, 57% has been allocated to the USEC (as compared to 69% through week 22 last season).

Peruvian satsumas and clementines continue to arrive on the USEC and the first of the South African easy peelers are expected in week 25.

Pricing through week 23 remains firm with spot market prices for sizes 4 and larger in the 10 x 3 lbs. configuration at US$ 40 – 42. Program prices are running lower at US$ 34 – 36, bringing average pricing closer to US$ 38 – 40. Spot market prices on the USWC are US$ 42 – 44.

California mandarins are finished and there are only light volumes of domestic navel oranges remaining in the market. With the arrival of any appreciable volume of imported oranges not expected until week 25, the market for imported easy peelers will remain robust through next week. That said, increased soft citrus arrivals from Chile and Peru in the coming weeks will help fill the pipeline and moderate the spot market. But we don’t expect to see pricing fall below US$ 36 – 38 until late in week 25 when increased citrus volumes from South Africa, Chile and Peru will arrive along with increased offerings of summer fruit from California and cherries from Washington State.

Navel Oranges:
California navel oranges are finishing up and imports will only start to become available in week 25 with the much anticipated arrival on the USEC of the first South African bulk vessel of the season. Grower expectations are running high for this first South African fruit as it will arrive with virtually no competition in the market. With only 2 200 pallets of navels on that vessel, that vessel will sell out before the next bulk arrival in week 27. 

Week 27 will also see the first substantial arrival of Chilean navel oranges on the USEC. Chilean producers have been harvesting, packing and storing oranges for at least two weeks and are likely to load heavily late in week 24 to ensure an arrival after June 30 – the date when the restrictions mandated by the USDA/AMS Marketing Order for oranges fall away. Chilean shippers are seeing a generally small sized crop due to a peculiarly dry spring. Last week’s rains, and the precipitation expected over the next few days, will help to size up the later Chilean navel varieties. But arrivals in the early weeks of the import season will tend to smaller calibers. 

For more information:
Mark Greenberg 
Capespan North America 
Tel: +1 (514) 739-9181 

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