Vero Beach, Fla.-based Seald Sweet International expects strong demand for its Chilean clementines this season, said Peter Anderson, the company’s Chilean citrus commodity manager.

“The continued consumer acceptance of fruit during the summer months bodes well for another season of good demand,” Anderson said. “South Africa is the main competitor in clementines, but only during a short overlap with Chile.”

South Africa’s window, Anderson said, comes earlier than Chile’s, and South African only ships about 15% of Chile’s total volume, he said.

“For several weeks, Chile is the main source of supply for summer clementines.”

Demand for late-season w. murcotts from Chile also should be strong, Anderson said. Industrywide, volumes could rise up to 25% due to new plantings coming into production, he said.

Seald Sweet expects its first arrivals on the East Coast in the first week of May, Anderson said. Promotional volumes should peak from about the third week of June through the first part of August.

Seald Sweet expects its Chilean clementine volumes to be similar to last year, but North American arrivals in general could be down up to 10% because of the smaller sizes caused by water shortages in northern growing regions, Anderson said.