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by Mark Greenberg

US: Chilean clementine to east coast up 16% in week 22

Tonnage of Chilean clementines loaded to the USA east coast through Week 22 is up 16% over last year while loadings to the US west coast are running very close to last years volumes, as of the same week. With weeks 20, 21 and 22 representing the heaviest loading weeks, the effects of these heavy weeks of loading may start to be felt in the coming weeks.

The clementine market on the east coast is holding steady with solid pricing on arrivals that are primarily Chilean, complemented by Peruvian clementines (and anticipating the arrival of South African clementines). The west coast market is also, for now, holding its own on although at a few dollars below the prevailing east coast price.

Through Week 23, clementines on the east coast are selling at US$ 38 – 40 (mostly
US$40) for standard sizes in the value-added, fixed weight packages which should
bring back a US$ 34 - 36 gross selling price in the original arriving 15 kg carton (repack losses through culls being an important determining factor). Size 5’s are generating similar prices when blended with 4’s and perhaps US$ 2-4 less in a stand alone package.

The bigger issue is the size 6 which are more difficult to blend and very challenging to sell on a stand alone basis.
The west coast is facing a peculiar situation: There is not a surplus of fruit yet prices for standard size (1’s, 2’s and 3’s with 4’s blended) in value-added packages are selling at US$ 34 – 36 and smaller size, value-added prices are as low as US$ 32. There is really no reason for the west coast market to be at these levels so early in the game. What is more, there are offers of US$ 27 for value-added packages for loading in the last week of June. We would not have expected to see this price level so early. There are reports of pricing as low as US$ 27 on bagged-up fruit. It seems that someone is nervous about what they expect will be arriving.

Navel Oranges:
Navel oranges will shortly be arriving from South Africa with some light early volumes
from Chile to complement.

Opening prices on imported navels is expected to be US$ 30 on 40’s, 48’s and 56’s, US$28 on 64’s, US$ 26 on 72’s and 88’s. With a South African crop tending toward smaller sizes, the price of 72’s and 88’s may come under the earliest pressure. But many Chilean shippers are predicting a crop that will tend toward larger sizes. This will complement the South African program and, most importantly, may help prevent a serious, market-wide discount of small fruit.

Publication date: 6/8/2012


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