South Africa’s citrus fruit has been steadily entering the US market since June. With harvest of all varieties now having finished for the season, the last shipments of easy peelers, Navel oranges, as well as Midknight oranges are on their way to the Port of Philadelphia. “Arrivals of Navels will soon finish, but arrivals of Midknights and late season mandarins will continue through October,” says Suhanra Conradie, CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa.
Easy peeler volumes up 34 percent
Total orange volume shipped this season is slightly less compared to last year’s volume. The easy peeler category on the other hand is expecting a total volume growth of 34 percent. Was the US market able to absorb this significant number of extra volume? “We execute a business model of managing supply and demand,” Conradie explained. “With the continued support of our loyal importer and retail partners, we are able to grow and ship fruit sustainably each year. This demand driven business model assures a supportable and consistent amount of fruit for the US market,” she added.
The last conventional vessel that loaded in Cape Town with an estimated arrival of the 3rd week in October.
Although South Africa’s citrus fruit showed high quality, the season didn’t come without challenges. Globally, the supply chain was under a lot of pressure, dominating the season. “Despite the shipping challenges, we have had frequent arrivals of fruit to fill the needs of the US market,” Conradie commented. “Our open communication and sophisticated shipping plan is an imperative part of our success as we are able to meet demand with the right amount of supply.” The challenges have shown a lot of resilience from all parties involved. “We had to make changes and become more flexible with the state of the world, but we gained a lot of momentum with our collaborative approach and intend to keep it going.”