South African citrus shipments to U.S. rise 24%
A total of 41,528 tons were shipped, with the last lot arriving in Philadelphia in late October. The U.S. received 8,935 tons of Clementines, up 29.3%, 24,629 tons of Navel oranges and 7,721 tons of Midknight oranges, an increase of 21.9% for all oranges. Grapefruit was exported for the first time, with 232 tons going to the U.S., the statement said.
The exporters group changed its shipment scheme to use smaller ships to deliver citrus more often, every 10 days in 2010 instead of every 14 days as in previous years.
“Both importers and retailers have found this more regular arrival of fruit beneficial to their category management,” said Gerrit van der Merwe, WCCPF chairman. “The schedule provides a continuous and reliable supply so importers and retailers know what citrus will be available to them for sale.”
Van de Merwe said more South African citrus will be sent to the West Coast in 2011. In 2010, the California crop lasted unusually long, the statement said.