Capespan North America CEO Mark Greenberg said in a market update that the East Coast market has received “heavy arrivals” from Chile and Peru and “modest” arrivals from South Africa.
There is also an inventory of “hard-to-manage” Uruguayan clementines that are “confusing this already complicated market”, he said.
“Citrus movement generally is just not where it should be and the tonnage of easy peeler arrivals remains in excess of demand. This has resulted in a build-up of inventory over the last three weeks,” he said, noting the hot weather was not helping matters.
Greenberg pointed out that through week 30, Chile had shipped 50% more clementines to the U.S. year-on-year and over a shorter period. Peru, meanwhile, has since May increased its U.S.-bound easy peeler loadings by more than 35% compared to 2017.
The Chilean clementine harvest has finished, but arrivals will continue for another couple of weeks, overlapping with the first of the Chilean late mandarins.
Meanwhile, Peruvian late mandarins (W. Murcotts and Tangos) are also in full production and are “making their presence felt” on both coasts, while South African easy peelers remain available in “relatively light volumes”, he said.
“With a continued abundance of soft citrus from all sources, and more on the way, we don’t expect to see prices start to climb over US$ 30 [10 x 3lbs, sizes 3 and 4] for another few weeks. Movement of soft citrus has been lethargic and while price adjustments have fuelled some increase in movement, it has not been enough to meet arrival volumes,” he said.
“We are hopeful that conditions will return to normal as we move deeper into August with the consequent return of families from summer vacation and children heading back to school.”