Good growing weather promises ample supplies of high-quality South African clementines, oranges and other citrus this summer.
South African clementines should begin arriving in the U.S. in mid-June, with navels following in late June or early July, said Tom Cowan, South African sales manager for Fort Pierce, Fla.-based DNE World Fruit Sales.
Clementines should ship through early August, with late-season mandarins starting in late August and shipping through early October, Cowan said.
Navels should ship through September. The last month of the South African navel should overlap with the valencia-like midknight deal, which is expected to begin in mid-September and wind down in early November, he said.
South African growers expect to ship 1.7 million cartons of navels and 2 million cartons of clementines to the U.S. this year, Cowan said.
Navels are expected to peak on 72s, followed by 64s and 88s. Clementines should peak on 24s and 28s, followed by 32s, he said.
David Mixon, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Seald Sweet International, Vero Beach, Fla., expects the first South African arrivals of the season in the first week of June.
Clementines, navels and grapefruit should arrive simultaneously, but in limited volumes, Mixon said. The first vessel shipment of South African citrus is not expected until the end of June.
Clementines should ship through the end of August, navels through October and grapefruit through September.
Seald Sweet expects to begin receiving cara caras the second week of July, followed by clemengolds during the third week of August.
Cara cara shipments should wind down by the end of July and clemengolds by the end of October.
Midknight oranges will bring up the rear of the South African citrus deal, with arrivals expected to begin during the third week of September and winding down at the end of October, Mixon said.
Mixon expected good quality and size profile from South Africa this summer.
“The quality this year looks to be much better on external appearance than last year,” he said. “The size will be larger than last year on all varieties. Mother Nature has been fair.”
Marc Solomon, president and chief executive of Montreal-based Fisher Capespan, said he expects the first arrivals of star ruby grapefruit in early June, about a month earlier than last year.
The company expects to supply customers with South African grapefruit through about mid-August, he said.
Clementines and navels should follow in late June and cara caras in July, Solomon said.
Navels will ship through summer, he said. The deal will wind down with midknights, which should ship through Thanksgiving.
Solomon expected good quality and ample volumes out of South Africa this season.
“Growing conditions have been excellent,” he said. “The fruit is looking very clean, with very little wind scarring this year.”
Sizing on South African is on the large side this season, Solomon said. He expects oranges to peak on 56s.
As of late April, there had been no reports of pest problems in South Africa, Solomon said.
Navels should begin arriving in early July, with steady volumes through the season and peaks expected in August and September, said Gerrit van der Merwe, chairman of Citrusdal, South Africa-based Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum.
Midknights will begin arriving in late August or early September, with peaks expected in October and the first half of November, van der Merwe said.
Quality should be excellent, he said.
“The weather has been very good with a hot and dry summer,” van der Merwe said. “It has begun to turn cold at the right time, and the fruit continues to look excellent.”