While recent reports suggest quality problems have set back pricing for Chilean lemons and easy peelers, the first weeks of the season showed a strong footing for the country’s oranges in the U.S.
According to figures from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Chilean orange prices stood at US$ 22/15kg (33lbs) box last week, which is similar to the level they were at for the same period in 2015.
South African orange prices were also within the historic two-year average at US$ 24/15kg (33lbs) box.
Chilean orange shipments started in June and until the first week of July they reached 7,483 metric tons (MT), representing a rise of 11% year-on-year, according to Chilean statistics agency Odepa.
As has been the trend at this time of year, the U.S. has accounted for 85% of Chile’s shipments.
In 2015, Chile finished the orange season with 69,170MT exported, recovering from a low of 57,445MT in 2014.
In terms of easy peelers, a representative from the Chilean Citrus Committee has told the local press there has been a lot of fruit with seeds this year due to cross-pollination.