USA: Prices pick up on tight Florida grapefruit market

Supplies are looking tight for Florida’s grapefruit industry. “They’re short, as Florida grapefruit supplies continue to contract because of citrus greening disease and growers making room for the new easy-peel varieties,” says David Brocksmith of Vero Beach, Fl.-based Seald Sweet International. “All the regions are still producing. The Gulf region continues to be prominent with less and less grapefruit coming from the ridge or interior. And the Indian River region is quickly coming to the end of its season as sizing and supplies will only support export business for a few more weeks.” Meanwhile, Texas remains the most formidable competitor for domestic grapefruit and Brocksmith anticipates that lasting through till March.

Prices meanwhile continue to pick up. “Especially on larger sizes,” Brocksmith adds. “40 ct. through to 27 ct. have increased $2 per package over the last ten to 14 days. And prices on smaller sizes are steady but feel stronger going forward.”

Consumption turning around?
That’s good news for a market that’s feeling a negative consumption trend. “We feel as though grapefruit consumption has bottomed out in the last few years and will increase marginally from current levels,” Brocksmith adds. And in the meantime, he notes that Florida grapefruit are still in high demand in the Pacific Rim and European export markets. “And domestic retail business is also picking up because retailers have fewer grower/shippers and supplies to choose from. We expect this to be an abbreviated season with fewer supplies—we think Florida grapefruit will be done by week 11/12.”

For more information:
David Brocksmith
Seald Sweet International
Tel: 1-772-569-2244 x238

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