Australian growers slow navel picking to prevent market glut

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Australian growers slow navel picking to prevent market glut

Australian citrus growers are being urged to stop picking navels only four weeks into the new season due to an oversupply, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Growers were hoping for a recovery year from last season's poor prices but the market for navels and mandarins has fallen.

Mildura Fruit Company's Perry Hill, said he was confident the season could recover if packers and growers manage supplies going to the market.

"This year it's a much better balanced crop, probably 20% down in terms of volume out there and better size, so we can place that fruit much more easily in better returning markets such as U.S., Japan, Singapore etc," he was quoted as saying.

Murray Valley Citrus Board representative Mary Cannard, said it is the earliest she has seen packers ask growers to hold back on early season navels and mandarins.

"We had a dreadful season last season with prices, so growers were looking forward to a new season and maybe some better prices," she was quoted as saying.

"But the market has absolutely crashed for citrus and we are probably going to be in the same situation this year unless we can moderate the supply of fruit into the market."

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