The navel harvest has been running for a few weeks in South Africa's Senwes area (Groblersdal/Marble Hall) and while it looks like an "on" year volume-wise for Bahianinha navels, with slightly smaller fruit sizes, Palmers navels have an average crop with average sizes.
The 2021 navel estimate is very close to last year's, with a hundred thousand 15kg cartons up on last year's 26.2 million cartons.
Cooler temperatures are aiding colour development on oranges.
On the domestic market, the price of navels and lemons are almost equal; navels trading at R3.76 per kilogram and lemons at R3.74 (0.22 euros).
Severe pressure on lemon market, locally and overseas
Interest from overseas buyers in navels is better than in lemons, exporters say.
The current lemon estimate is 30 million 15kg cartons, not far off last year's total of 29.6 million cartons exported.
The lemon crop in Senwes is lower than last year - it's postulated that the reason is cold damage during winter - but the sizes are, says a technical officer for an exporter, a bit larger than what they're used to.
Europe and Russia would be obvious markets for larger lemons; Indonesia and Canada take limited amounts of larger lemons. The Middle and the Far East take smaller counts (113s, 138s), but the lemon market is under the pressure that some in the industry have long predicted.
The lemon juicing price is significantly below its levels of a handful of years ago.