SA orange, grapefruit crops underestimated in 2011
Statistics released by the Citrus Growers' Association of Southern Africa, show packed navel orange volumes are 5% higher than previous forecasts at 20.4 million cartons.
The association's CEO Justin Chadwick says it is evident grapefruit growers were expecting a lighter crop too, with packed figues 9% higher than original estimates at 16.1 million cartons.
Chadwick says citrus quality generally has been good in recent weeks, but clementine and satsuma volumes are below initial predictions.
"As anticipated the reduced marketing opportunities in Eastern Europe caused diversification into Far Eastern markets, bringing those markets under oversupply pressure. Fortunately the quality of the later fruit is reported to be excellent," he says.
"With four million cartons of Valencia packed last week it is likely that the 39 million prediction will be reached.
"In the soft citrus category Satsuma actuals were 22% shy of original estimate, while clementines were 5% below estimate. Late Mandarins are still being harvested with 2.5 million of the estimated 3.1 million already picked and passed for export."
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