Supplies of oranges look steady right now.
Bill Weyland, vice-president of sales for Seven Seas in Iselin, NJ says that California is busy finishing up with production of Navel oranges and should wrap up by late June.
Meanwhile import oranges are also well underway. “We have seen a large volume arriving of Moroccan Navels and the last vessel with Maroc Navels is unloading this week,” he says, adding though that there will be one more vessel arriving early in June with Maroc Late oranges, a Valencia-type orange.
Oranges from other regions
Uruguay will also begin shipping next month and have supplies until September.
While Navels are in production right now, Valencia orange varieties will follow which include Cara Cara oranges, a type of orange that’s seeing increased demand from consumers.
As for the quality of the fruit? “Overall fruit quality, coloring and brix look good with early fruit peaking on the medium sizes. Larger fruit is currently scarce and this is expected to continue into early July,” says Weyland.
On demand, while it’s steady for oranges, he notes Seven Seas is starting to see some shifts in consumer consumption of the fruit. “Changes are developing as consumers try to figure out how to stretch the dollars due to inflationary costs and increase costs in all consumer areas,” says Weyland. “The rising costs and the threat of lower consumer consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is one of the biggest challenges.”
The pressure on pricing
In regards to pricing, Weyland says that no clear market prices have been established for Southern Hemisphere fruit. “There is a lot of pressure to increase prices due to rising costs and how successful these efforts will be is to be determined. With California finishing late June we should have a good opening for the orange market,” he says.
Looking ahead, the first Navels from South Africa are expected in mid-June and will go through to October. “South Africa is getting off to a slower start but overall Navel volume should be similar to last year,” says Weyland. Then in July, Chile will begin with its supplies which will also go through October.