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Orange supplies light but growing in California

Supplies are starting to build as California embarks on its orange season.

"We're just getting started on Navel oranges and supplies are increasing daily,” says Randy Jacobson of Orange Cove, Ca.-based Cecelia Packing Corp. “We are later than last year and the volume to date is less than last year.”

In California, supplies are coming largely from Kern County, though some picking is happening in Tulare and Fresno counties. Meanwhile, with the imported fruit wrapped up, competition is domestic and coming from Florida and Texas. Demand also remains domestic, though Jacobson notes that Cecelia is receiving serious inquiry from its export markets. “I think citrus supplies, worldwide, are a little short at this time,” he says.

Temporary uptick in price?

With lighter volume, prices are higher than a year ago so far. “But they will adjust as the supplies increase,” says Jacobson. “As an industry, with a lighter crop, we expect prices to maintain at levels higher than a year ago. We are coming off a Valencia season that finished with historically high prices. The US pipeline went virtually dry. The first Navel oranges met with very high prices and those will have to adjust to move the volume that is expected.”

Looking ahead, Jacobson is also hoping for a pick up in demand. “We'll have the California Mandarins getting started in the next 10 days to two weeks and they will take the bulk of the retail citrus focus through the Thanksgiving holiday and likely through the end of the year,” says Jacobson. “I think consumption will be pretty steady through the end of the year. In recent years we’ve seen an uptick in demand for California Navels after the first of the year.”

For more information:
Randy Jacobson
Cecilia Packing Corporation
Tel: +1 559 626 7411

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