Demand for mandarins increasing, even in summer

California's citrus growers and marketers have done a good job in recent years of putting easy peelers at the fore of consumer attention. That's led to an uptick in demand for mandarins, even in the summer months when U.S. consumers get their easy peelers from overseas.

“The demand for imported citrus during the summer increases every year, and I think that's reflective of demand for domestic fruit,” said Linda Cunningham of Classic Harvest Produce. “Big marketing programs are driving a lot of demand at the retail level, and that's helping move summer imports.”

Mandarin imports are currently arriving from Chile and Peru, and Cunningham says she's seen an increase in shipments from both countries over the years. Clementines have arrived in good volumes and shipments of W. Murcotts are ramping up.

“We're heading into a traditional gap when Chile finishes up their Clementines and we see more W. Murcotts,” noted Cunningham. “We won't see a supply gap, but, depending on where one gets their fruit and how they planned, you could see that elsewhere.” Current prices are steady, but that could change if there is a supply gap.

Classic Harvest is very program focused with their mandarins, and Cunningham noted that their pricing is very reasonable for both growers and retailers.

“I think the market will hold pretty steady where it's at, though we might see a slight uptick if there's less Chilean fruit in the next few weeks,” she said. “Traditionally, W. Murcotts also get premium prices compared to Clementines.”

On the open market, prices for a carton of size 20 Clementines from Chile were between $26.00 and $30.00 at Los Angeles ports of entry on August 9, and prices for a carton of size 36 fruit were between $20.00 and $24.00.

For more information:
Linda Cunningham
Classic Harvest Produce
+1 559 549 5980

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