Supplies of mandarins are anticipated to tighten up in the new year.
At Trinity Fruit Sales in Fresno, CA, Levon Ganajian says that depending on the variety, mandarin production is generally down thanks partly to the heat wave seen this summer but more likely because the trees are alternate-bearing. “Our clementines were down 50 percent and the upcoming Tangos are down 40 percent,” he says.
Domestic clementine supplies have been down by 50 percent this season.
Currently Trinity Fruit is winding down its clementine season. “We didn’t see a lot of issues with supplies, primarily because there was so much imported product coming in that overlapped with domestic clementine production,” says Ganajian, noting its own production should finish up sometime next week.
Other shipping countries
Imports were coming in from countries such as Spain on the East Coast and Chile and Peru on the West Coast.
Following the clementines and squeezing in before Tango production begins is the Page variety. “These have really good sugars and it has a little bit of a firmer peel but they eat like candy,” says Ganajian, noting the Page tends to see similar volumes year after year, as it will this year.
This year Trinity Fruit has sweet Dekopon mandarins, marketed under its Sweet Honeys brand, available.
Then for the first week in January is something new for Trinity Fruit--sweet Dekopon mandarins it’s marketing under its Sweet Honeys brand. “We have almost 400 acres of it planted. They’re not all in production but we’re going to have a pretty good-sized crop this year.
And our production will double each year for the next four to five years,” he says. “It’s a big deal for us and we’ll be a big player in this field.” Trinity Fruit is packing the fruit in a one layer euro pack or consumer boxes, though it is working with customer pack requests as well.
Tangos, then W. Murcotts
Following that is its Tango production starting around January 10th and that kicks off one of the smallest crop percentage wise Ganajian has seen for sometime in Tangos. But W. Murcotts, which begin in March, will also be down by 40-50 percent in volume.
Trinity Fruit is packing Dekopons in a one layer euro pack or consumer boxes, though it is working with customer pack requests as well.
Meanwhile demand is good for mandarins and expected to strengthen. “Because there have been so many imports, there was a lot of fruit out there,” says Ganajian, adding that Trinity also has organic mandarin options as well. “But now that the imports are cleaning up, demand will exceed supply all the way through the rest of the season.”
Not surprisingly, pricing should strengthen accordingly. “Pricing right now is pretty decent. It’s similar to last year, maybe a little bit up from last year. But going forward through the season, prices should be up a minimum 10 percent but it could be more,” he says.