U.S. easy peeler market strong due to supply gap
Chile's clementine and mandarin exports to the U.S. were up by nearly 13% for week 36 and commanded good prices thanks to a pause in supply, according to Capespan North America president Mark Greenberg.
He said large Chilean volumes in July and August had resulted in lower pricing but the current two to three week gap as production transitioned to late mandarins had allowed market recovery.
"While arrival volumes continue to move upward, the price level is stable as arrivals remain unable to meet the full market demand," Greenberg said in his market report.
Late mandarins W Murcott and Fortuna prices were ranging from US$34-40 for 10×3lbs value-added consumer packages, with most sales in the US$36-38 price range.
"With the light volumes that have arrived in the market, one would think prices should be a couple of dollars higher. Perhaps the very low prices at which Navel oranges are being sold is having a dampening effect on the easy peeler price level."
Bigger volumes of easy peelers were expected to arrive from Chile and South Africa within the next couple of weeks.
"A well supplied market may see prices a couple of dollars down from today's prices, but we expect a generally stable market to continue."
The outlook for Navel oranges however is tough. Greenberg described exports as in a "critical condition" due to oversupply and the threat of East Coast and Gulf of Mexico port strikes.
In week 36, Chile's Navel exports to the U.S. were showed 46,299 MT; nearly a 42% year-on-year rise with a 46% jump in shipments to the East Coast and a 35% increase to the West.
Chilean Navel prices are currently US$14-16 on small sizes (72's and 88's) and US$16-18 on larger sizes (40s, 48's and 56's).
"South African Navels, are on average, trading a couple of dollars higher reflecting the better general condition and consistency of the South African product this season."
Related stories: U.S. Navel orange inventories "uncomfortably high", says Greenberg