Bee Sweet Citrus’ Sergio Rodriguez Details Varying Market Conditions Across Citrus
FOWLER, CA - Citrus is a category I, and many retailers, continue to keep an eye on as a key section in the produce sector. The zesty aroma when the skin is peeled, the plump juice follicles bursting with flavor, and the multitude of applications this category has to offer is nothing short of amazing. So, with the season transitioning here in the States, I tapped Bee Sweet Citrus’ Sergio Rodriguez as we see a range of market conditions across the varieties.
“We are currently seeing a tight market for our Valencia oranges this summer due to the hot temperatures, and we will continue to see high demand for small sizes,” began the Sales Representative, giving me a run-down across the category. “The lemon market has been in flux in Argentina, Mexico, and Chile, and the Chilean Mandarin market has had some flux, especially with the smaller sizes.”
Bee Sweet’s Valencia crop experienced a slight decrease in utilization due to the 100° F temperatures we experienced—and continue to experience—here in California this summer. Many smaller packers in the Central Valley will be done this season much earlier than in past years.
The grower’s Chilean imported lemons will be much lighter in September due to a freeze the country experienced earlier this season. However, the Chilean Navel orange demand has been strong all season on the West Coast this summer. Thankfully, quality and taste continue to shine as the grower’s imported citrus hits retail shelves.
“This season, we have seen good quality on our imported citrus. Volumes have been consistent this past month but with lower volumes estimated for September and October,” Sergio says. “We’re currently importing Navels, lemons, and Mandarins from Chile, and we just received our first shipments of Chilean Cara Caras recently.”
Looking toward California, the grower’s lemons and Meyers from District 2 (D2) are currently being harvested, and its D3 Meyers will begin at the end of August while the District 3 lemons are estimated for the beginning of September. Bee Sweet’s D2 Star Ruby Grapefruit harvest just finished recently, and its D3 is estimated for the end of October. The grower’s Melo Golds are estimated to begin harvesting in mid-October.
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