U.S. easy peeler market "softens" as SH imports rise

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U.S. easy peeler market

The U.S. easy peeler market "softened" last week due to a confluence of factors, according to Capespan North America CEO Mark Greenberg. 

He said heavy Chilean clementine arrivals on the East Coast in late June and early July complemented 2,000 metric tons (MT) of fruit from South African and 2,600MT from Peru.

"These arrivals came just as retailers were focused on building their summer fruit displays for the July 4 festivities and paying less attention to their citrus offerings," he said.

Added to this was the natural "hangover" in retail sales that invariably follows a holiday due to retailers taking stock before resuming orders.

"The result was a full soft citrus pipeline and, by Week 28, the first appreciable accumulation of inventory," he said.

Through week 27 Chilean loaded just under 50,000MT of clementines to the U.S., representing a 42.9% year-on-year rise. Of that volume, 57% was sent to the East Coast.

Over the same period, South Africa loaded 6,000MT of easy peelers, all sent to the East Coast. Meanwhile, Peru has shipped over 16,000MT of soft citrus to the East Coast, marking a 48% year-on-year rise.

Peru has also shipped nearly 2,000MT of easy peelers to the West Coast - a 17% rise.

"Given the heavy volumes which, in the case of Chile and Peru, represent substantial increases over last season, the market has performed remarkably well," he said.

"But the fact remains that soft citrus spot prices will always react quickly and efficiently to immediate industry inventory levels."

The full market report can be read here.

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