South African citrus season wraps up

Top Stories
South African citrus season wraps up

The final shipment of South African summer citrus fruit has left Cape Town en route to Philadelphia thus bringing the 2010 season to a close.

According to a statement posted on the West Cape Citrus Producers’ Forum (WCCPF) website, the final shipment will arrive in Philadelphia on October 18 carrying mostly Mikknight Valencias.

The 2010 season went “well” according to the WCCPF, although the strengthening of the South African Rand against the dollar has cut away returns for citrus growers.

The season also marked changes in how the WCCPF ships to the US after reaching an agreement to send supplies through ocean shipping line Seatrade. Specifcally exporters shipped on smaller vessels, thus departing every 10 days instead of 14 as was the case in 2009. Furthermore, the 41,000 pallets shipped were placed in conventional reefer vessels.

“At the beginning of the season we had to move fruit destined for containers to the reefer vessels because of the transport workers’ strike and that really set a trend for the season,” WCCPF CEO Joretha Geldenhuys, CEO said in the statement.

Unionized workers with Transnet, the state run operator of South Africa’s ports, demanded wage increases during a three week strike that ended in May of this year.



Subscribe to our newsletter