Grapefruit imports from South Africa are still light, but importers and officials are seeing growth.
The star ruby grapefruit deal is still relatively new, but it is growing, said Marc Solomon, senior vice president for St. Laurent, Quebec-based Capespan North America.
“First arrivals will be in July, and they will continue for July and August,” Solomon said.
U.S. sales of South African grapefruit are expected to double over last season, but, at 24,000 cartons, the deal is still relatively small, said Tom Cowan, South African citrus manager for DNE World Fruit Sales, Fort Pierce, Fla.
Suhanra Conradie, CEO of the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum, also expects more of the star ruby variety to find their way to the U.S. this season.
“Star ruby is an excellent fruit,” she said. “It’s in demand from South Africa, and the plan is to increase volumes shipped in 2014.”