Four fruit commodity focal points play a key role in the programs that Vanguard International will bring onto the global markets in the next few months.
“Citrus is a huge focus for us right now,” says Tim Clarke, President of Vanguard International. “The crops in Egypt are winding down and California is finishing up late Navels and looking ahead to Valencias as the transition to the Southern Hemisphere gets rolling.”
In South Africa, the drought issues that plagued the industry last year are all but gone now, and the focus has turned to grapefruit, which is now in full swing. To ensure efficient shipping, Vanguard is utilizing both conventional container ships, as well as breakbulk vessels. “With the arrival of well-timed rains over the last eight months, we are expecting very nice orange and grapefruit crops coming out of this region,” Clarke shared.
South America will get started on citrus soon with easy peelers. The company also has a citrus growing presence in Peru and is excited to have a stronger mix of varietals coming from this region.
“Apples remain an important product in our commodity basket and we will continue with the available supply of Washington apples as we do year-round,” commented Clarke. As Pacific Northwest packers shift their focus to cherries, apple availability for export is anticipated to be lower from this region.
“Our strength has always been our presence in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Apples are a perfect example as we concentrate on production from Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa.”
In Chile, Fuji apples have commenced, and the company is getting started on other apple programs into Central and South America.
“New Zealand has been very challenging with the ongoing shipping logistics issues that the entire industry has faced, as we have also experienced in South Africa and the United States.” As a result of the shipping delays, it will lengthen the overall New Zealand apple season. This isn’t necessarily all bad news, as a longer season can aid the overall apple market health.
Chile is also expected to have a similar long season. It is anticipated to see a steadier flow of apples to all markets that should help to smooth out the “peaks of volume” arriving into all global markets.
Tim Clarke with Vanguard International.
“California Cherries are out of the gates and we are seeing a smaller cherry size off the start but expecting size to improve as the crop continues to grow, and we get into mid-season varieties.”
As always Washington and Oregon cherries will be following California and it looks to be a smooth transition with a bit more of an overlap than we have seen in the past few seasons.
“We are very excited and optimistic for our upcoming Mexican grape season,” shared Clarke. The Mexican grape harvest is already underway, and movement has been good. “It is still early in the season, but we are predicting a strong grape season in this region, especially for Green Seedless.”