Nearly 40,000 tons of South African citrus were exported to the U.S. in 2013.
Grower-shippers sent 39,463 tons of navels, midknights, clementines, cara caras and grapefruit this season, according to a news release from the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum, the consortium of about 230 growers approved to export to the U.S.
“It has been a very good season for our citrus,” Suhanra Conradie, the forum’s chief executive officer, said in the release. “When our fruit arrived, domestic fruit was no longer available, so the market was strong for our navel oranges.”
South African citrus exports to the U.S. began in early July and continued through mid-October.
About 28,715 tons of navels, 6,506 tons of midknights, 2,921 tons of clementines, 984 tons of cara caras and 337 tons of grapefruit were exported from South Africa to the U.S.
EU ban not expected to affect exports to U.S.
A European Union ban on South African citrus over disease concerns shouldn’t affect U.S. shipments, said Justin Chadwick, chief executive officer of the Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa.
The EU banned imports because of citrus black spot findings in South AFrican fruit.
“At the moment the only regions within South Africa allowed to export to the U.S. are CBS-free, so this move by the EU will not impact on South African exports to the U.S.,” Chadwick said.