Chilean citrus endures cold, ready for export
The damage to Chilean summer citrus crops caused by recent frost so far shows minimal to no damage to this year's clementines to a maximum 10 percent loss for navel oranges, lemons and mandarin exports, said the Chilean Citrus Committee in a statement.
This year's total Chilean fresh citrus exports to the United States had previously shown a projected 10 percent increase above 2010 volume. Despite news of the freeze, seedless navels are still expected to lead the Chilean varieties in volume during their season from June through October, said Juan Enrique Ortuzar, the committee's president.
In addition, late mandarin volumes, originally expected to increase nearly 10 percent during their August through September season, is expected to remain similar to last season.
Imported citrus fruits in the United States represents 30 percent to 40 percent of category sales during summer months. Recent data from The Perishables Group in Chicago, indicates demand for citrus fruit is on the upswing, with more growth projected. As a result, the citrus category has become a staple to the produce department, with imported fruit increasing U.S. retailers' produce sales by closing the seasonal supply gaps.