Preparations are underway to ship Chilean clementines.
“The early Chilean deal looks very good, with an increase in volume by five to 10 percent from the North. It looks like the crop may have smaller sizing, and Peru looks similar to last year as well,” says Norman Barro Jr. of International Fruit Co. in Hammonton, NJ. With shipments starting from Chile and Peru this week, the first arrivals will be seen in the middle of May
The season for Chilean and Peruvian clementines goes from May until July when supplies switch over to W. Murcott, which should arrive in North America in the beginning of August.
Solid demand anticipated
As for demand, Barro believes the season will see good demand. “Consumers are eating a lot of clementines—there are domestic clementines all winter long. Retailers are promoting them weekly and consumers are getting used to having them all year round,” he says. “I think more adults are eating clementines than in the past.”
He says the only challenge that could lie ahead for the season in terms of demand is if the sizing is small. “Retailers normally like larger sizes so if the crop is heavy towards smaller fruit, then we’ll have a challenge moving them,” he says.
On pricing, he also believes pricing will be good this season. It’s all about finding a price that works for both the retailer and the consumer, says Barro. “We’re going to have a lot of promotable fruit early this year. There’ll be a decent volume coming out of Chile and Peru, so there’ll be plenty of fruit to promote in June,” he adds.