With the 2009 season winding down, exporters of South African citrus are reporting similar volumes but a different product mix than a year ago, and 2010 could feature a new product entirely.
South Africa shipped about 35,000 tons of citrus to the U.S. in 2009, similar to 2008 totals, according to a news release from the Western Cape Citrus Producersâ Forum, Citrusdal, South Africa-based a group that represents about 350 growers.
The last shipment of MidKnights, the final South African orange variety of the season, arrived in Philadelphia Oct. 28.
With Chile entering the navel deal this year, South Africa changed its varietal lineup, shipping fewer navels and more clementines in 2009.
The navels South Africa did ship were high-quality and, as a result, demanded a higher price than competing navels, Joretha Geldenhuys, the forumâs chief executive officer, said in the release.
Growers are weighing the possiblity of adding grapefruit to their export lineup in 2010, Geldenhuys said.