South American citrus supplies make way for the transition to Moroccan easy peelers.
“We are slowly transitioning from Chilean to Moroccan fruit,” says Luke Sears, President and Founder of LGS Specialty Sales based in New Rochelle, NY. “The Moroccan season is currently underway with roughly the same timing as last year. Morocco experienced some weather conditions in areas that will cause volume to be slightly down in those regions. But overall volume out of Morocco into the U.S. this season is anticipated to be flat to slightly up.”
Luke Sears of LGS Specialty Sales.
Chile and Peru both had strong W. Murcott volume in the summer. “Chile, specifically, had great color and brix/acid ratio, which resulted in a great eating piece of fruit,” says Sears. “It’s the end of Chilean Murcott season and we’ll begin transitioning to Moroccan Clemenules. We’re anticipating a strong season ahead.”
Meanwhile, LGS saw growth across the rest of the citrus category. Navel oranges wrapped up mid-October and demand was incredibly strong throughout, says Sears. The company’s Cara Cara season, which began in late July, wrapped up mid-September. “We look forward to continuing to increase supply to the U.S. with Cara Cara oranges as they are a growing category in our Darling Citrus line,” says Sears.
Greater interest in Minneolas
Minneolas also wrapped up in mid-September and Sears notes LGS saw an increase in both volume and popularity with this commodity.
As for lemons, the Argentinian lemon season, which began in May, lasted through October and Sears says the fruit had excellent juice content with sizing peaking on 115s/140s. Chilean lemons, which began in late June, also went through to October and had a peak on medium to small-sized fruit.
Overall, Sears says the market on citrus is stronger than last year due to the high demand. “We anticipate citrus sales to remain strong due to the Vitamin C levels it can provide. Additionally, as we enter the winter season, consumers will want to purchase for the health benefits,” he says. “One of the biggest challenges for both retailers and suppliers is predicting the demand flow from a strong summer season into the winter season.”