Blog Archives

Chinese garlic crop is largest in four years with lower prices expected

Prices for Chinese garlic have reached historic highs in recent years due to light crops, but this year’s crop is expected to be up in volume by about 35 percent with a corresponding drop in price, according to Jim Provost, managing partner of I Love Produce in West Grove, PA.

For the past three years, prices for Chinese garlic have been “stronger than they have ever been” previously, said Mr. Provost, who had just returned from a three-week visit to China when he spoke with The Produce News in late June.

ILP-Peeled-garlic-grading-aILP Peeled garlic grading after cooling.U.S. Department of Agriculture market reports show that “Chinese prices have been very strong, right up there compared to what California garlic is typically marketed at in a normal year,” he said.

Those strong prices are one reason for this year’s increase in production, he said. As with farmers in many places, when Chinese farmers “see there is money to be made, they plant more.”

In addition to the increased acreage, crop yields are particularly high this year, he said.

“This year was a convergence of not only the amount of acreage planted” but of higher yields as well, “so the combination of the two has led to the biggest crop in four years,” Provost said.

Planting acreage is about 20 percent higher than last year, and yields are up 10-15 percent, according to Provost. The net increase is expected to be in the range of 1 million to 1.5 million metric tons.

It is not a record crop, however, but more of a return to a typical crop, he said.

Provost said he expects to receive the first peeled garlic of the season from China the week of July 8 and the first fresh garlic the week of July 15. He expects I Love Produce to be the first company to have new-crop Chinese garlic available in the United States.

After three years of “relatively tight” supplies with prices “comparable to domestically grown garlic,” this year will be “an entirely different deal, with garlic at least 30 percent cheaper on average,” Provost said. “The quality is excellent and the size is very good, so it is time to promote garlic again. We are offering ads for peeled garlic, bulk garlic and packaged five-bulb netted garlic.”

Currently, there is a glut of last year’s garlic from China on the market, as importers are cleaning up old inventories in anticipation of this year’s larger crop, according to Provost.

“In order to provide our customers the freshest garlic, I made a trip to China in early June to inspect the new crop and settle some purchases with our growers,” he said.

Provost said that in addition to looking at new-crop garlic, he had a couple of other purposes in going to China in early June. One was to attend the Asian Fruit Congress in Qingdao in the Shandong province of China, a coastal city of about 8 million people located about midway between Beijing and Shanghai. At the conference, he said, there were guest speakers who talked about marketing in China, with a focus on second-tier cities such as Quingdao.

In addition, I Love Produce has “a couple of offices in China” through which it exports U.S.-grown fruit into China.

“So I spend more time in China than I used to because … the export side is a larger focus of what we are doing,” Provost said.

China is “an important market for U.S. food products and is now our number one agricultural customer, according to the USDA,” he said.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

USDA estimates lowest citrus crop in six years; CAC thinks it’s even lower

California Navel Orange Objective Measurement Report, issued by the California Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, is a usually reliable estimate of California’s Navel crop.

The newest report, released Sept. 11, estimates the 2014-15 crop at 78 million 40-pound cartons, which would make it the smallest crop since the freeze year of 2008-09. But California Citrus Mutual thinks the crop is even smaller than the USDA’s NASS estimate because it does not take into account losses due to the current drought conditions.

“After canvassing a significant number of producers and shippers, CCM believe the crop estimate is high,” CCM President Joel Nelsen said in a statement issued Sept. 11. “We know acreage has been removed from production” due to the drought, “but getting figures for a range has been difficult. We know the lack of water has affected fruit size during the growths stages, but surveying 126,000 acres is almost impossible. We also agree there is more fruit on the tree as compared to last year” in terms of the number of pieces of fruit. “However fruit size is a concern. All of this affects the number of cartons ultimately packed.”

However, CCM anticipates a normal production and excellent quality and flavor during the first four months of the harvest season, according to Nelsen.

Unlike Navels, Mandarins should be up in volume this year because of more acreage in production.

The NASS estimate for Navels is “based on their statistical model that they have to follow,” said Bob Blakely, CCM director of industry relations. “We are just pointing out that this year there may be some deviation from that. It may not be as all-encompassing as it would be in a normal year, because of the effect of the drought and the lack of uniformity throughout the citrus belt, especially in some of those districts more affected by the drought.”

There is a lot of acreage “that hasn’t had the water it would normally get,” and that is affecting fruit sizing, Blakely told The Produce News Sept. 12.

The NASS report does “make note of the fact that the fruit is smaller this year, even if there are more pieces,” he added. But it assumes normal growth going forward, “and if we don’t get additional rainfall and favorable weather going into the winter, that fruit is not going to grow very much. That is going to equate to fewer boxes, which would cause the total crop to be smaller even than what they projected.”

In addition to the smaller fruit size, “we have seen an increase in the number of removals,” Blakely said. “Growers who had marginal blocks that they thought they were going to farm for another three or four years, faced with the lack of water and more productive blocks that they were trying to protect, went ahead and cut the water off of those marginal blocks or pushed them out” to divert available water to the other groves.

That acreage that has been taken out of production due to decisions related to the drought was not taken into account in the NASS report, he said. In fact, “some of that was taken out after they completed their survey.”

The release of the Navel orange crop estimate by USDA “is a necessary and mandated announcement that historically has provided an accurate assessment of California’s Navel orange crop,” Nelsen said in the statement. “Since California supplies 85 percent of the nation’s fresh citrus, this release is usually received with anticipation and fanfare. Generally speaking, it sends signals to the consumer and to the markets around the country and world that California citrus growers are back.”

The NASS number “is developed via a painstaking field assessment and formula that rely upon a bevy of statistics compiled over the years,” he continued. However, “this year, that database is being disrupted because of the drought, and therefore the accuracy of the total number is suspect, in our view.”

CCM believes that “a ‘normal’ crop will materialize in the first four months of the season,” Nelsen said in the statement. “The season will start early if we begin to have cooler nights and the fruit breaks into a bright orange color. It also appears that the hot temperatures during the summer have created a highly flavorful crop. Size structure through February will be positive for the consumer. Exterior quality is also excellent.”

Water costs “have been obscenely high,” and that will be “reflected in sales prices in order for growers to offset the increased expense,” Nelsen said. “The industry is mindful, however, of its obligation to move a quality product to the market at a reasonable price.

“CCM also believes that the amount of Mandarin varieties available to the consumer will be larger than the past seasons due to the increased number of trees now in production,” he added. “Again, prices will reflect higher water costs.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

USDA estimates lowest citrus crop in six years; CAC thinks it’s even lower

California Navel Orange Objective Measurement Report, issued by the California Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, is a usually reliable estimate of California’s Navel crop.

The newest report, released Sept. 11, estimates the 2014-15 crop at 78 million 40-pound cartons, which would make it the smallest crop since the freeze year of 2008-09. But California Citrus Mutual thinks the crop is even smaller than the USDA’s NASS estimate because it does not take into account losses due to the current drought conditions.

“After canvassing a significant number of producers and shippers, CCM believe the crop estimate is high,” CCM President Joel Nelsen said in a statement issued Sept. 11. “We know acreage has been removed from production” due to the drought, “but getting figures for a range has been difficult. We know the lack of water has affected fruit size during the growths stages, but surveying 126,000 acres is almost impossible. We also agree there is more fruit on the tree as compared to last year” in terms of the number of pieces of fruit. “However fruit size is a concern. All of this affects the number of cartons ultimately packed.”

However, CCM anticipates a normal production and excellent quality and flavor during the first four months of the harvest season, according to Nelsen.

Unlike Navels, Mandarins should be up in volume this year because of more acreage in production.

The NASS estimate for Navels is “based on their statistical model that they have to follow,” said Bob Blakely, CCM director of industry relations. “We are just pointing out that this year there may be some deviation from that. It may not be as all-encompassing as it would be in a normal year, because of the effect of the drought and the lack of uniformity throughout the citrus belt, especially in some of those districts more affected by the drought.”

There is a lot of acreage “that hasn’t had the water it would normally get,” and that is affecting fruit sizing, Blakely told The Produce News Sept. 12.

The NASS report does “make note of the fact that the fruit is smaller this year, even if there are more pieces,” he added. But it assumes normal growth going forward, “and if we don’t get additional rainfall and favorable weather going into the winter, that fruit is not going to grow very much. That is going to equate to fewer boxes, which would cause the total crop to be smaller even than what they projected.”

In addition to the smaller fruit size, “we have seen an increase in the number of removals,” Blakely said. “Growers who had marginal blocks that they thought they were going to farm for another three or four years, faced with the lack of water and more productive blocks that they were trying to protect, went ahead and cut the water off of those marginal blocks or pushed them out” to divert available water to the other groves.

That acreage that has been taken out of production due to decisions related to the drought was not taken into account in the NASS report, he said. In fact, “some of that was taken out after they completed their survey.”

The release of the Navel orange crop estimate by USDA “is a necessary and mandated announcement that historically has provided an accurate assessment of California’s Navel orange crop,” Nelsen said in the statement. “Since California supplies 85 percent of the nation’s fresh citrus, this release is usually received with anticipation and fanfare. Generally speaking, it sends signals to the consumer and to the markets around the country and world that California citrus growers are back.”

The NASS number “is developed via a painstaking field assessment and formula that rely upon a bevy of statistics compiled over the years,” he continued. However, “this year, that database is being disrupted because of the drought, and therefore the accuracy of the total number is suspect, in our view.”

CCM believes that “a ‘normal’ crop will materialize in the first four months of the season,” Nelsen said in the statement. “The season will start early if we begin to have cooler nights and the fruit breaks into a bright orange color. It also appears that the hot temperatures during the summer have created a highly flavorful crop. Size structure through February will be positive for the consumer. Exterior quality is also excellent.”

Water costs “have been obscenely high,” and that will be “reflected in sales prices in order for growers to offset the increased expense,” Nelsen said. “The industry is mindful, however, of its obligation to move a quality product to the market at a reasonable price.

“CCM also believes that the amount of Mandarin varieties available to the consumer will be larger than the past seasons due to the increased number of trees now in production,” he added. “Again, prices will reflect higher water costs.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

NZ: Lower European apple prices bite into Scales profit

NZ: Lower European apple prices bite into Scales profit

Scales Corp, the listed fruit and vegetables logistics company, said first-half profit fell 22 percent from a year earlier, reflecting lower apple prices and the one-off costs of its NZX listing.

Profit was $ 20.6 million in the six months ended June 30, down from $ 26.4 million in the same period a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 3.4 percent to $ 150.2 million.

Scales debuted on the NZX in July at $ 1.60 per share. Of the $ 148 million worth of shares sold, $ 30 million was new capital to be used to reduce debt, while private equity firm Direct Capital sold into the offer, reducing their stake to 20 percent from 84.2 percent. Shares of Scales last traded at $ 1.53, and have fallen 4.4 percent below its offer price.

The company is New Zealand’s largest apple exporter and also owns businesses across the primary sector, including sea and air freight services, cold store operations, and food ingredients, pet foods and juice concentrate businesses.

Last year the company lifted annual profit 50 percent to $ 20.4 million, on the back of rising Asian demand for apples.

“We are continuing to develop our presence in Asia and other near markets, aided by the fact we expect premium variety apple plantings to yield increased volumes for 2015,” said managing director Andy Borland. “Together with a group of other primary sector New Zealand exporters, we are establishing ServeCo, a collaborative venture based in Shanghai which is designed to assist the partners’ trade into China.”

The company is boosting its cold store network’s capacity by 16 percent, building an 8,700 square metre Polarcold plant at the Ports of Auckland inter-modal freight hub at Wiri, South Auckland. Fonterra Cooperative Group had already signed on to use half of the space, Borland said, which is expected to be complete in the third quarter of next year.

Its horticulture segment, which includes its Mr Apple business, orchards, and fruit packing and storage businesses, increased sales 1.9 percent to $ 90.1 million in the six months, while operating earnings slipped 11 percent to $ 23 million. Scales blamed a drop in European apple prices for the decline, which it said was partially offset by higher volumes, with its Mr Apple final export volume 7 percent above forecast, and higher early season prices.

Storage and logistics increased sales by 4 percent to $ 61 million, while profit slipped 7.7 percent to $ 7.9 million. Sales in its food ingredients business rose 12 percent to $ 18.8 million, for a 3.4 percent gain in earnings of $ 2.8 million.

Improved operating cash flows meant Scales halved its forecast net working capital facility to $ 11.2 million, reducing forecast average prospective net debt to $ 38.2 million, below its prospectus forecast of $ 44.1 million, it said.

In its offer documents, Scales forecast net profit to fall to $ 15.9 million in 2014, before rising to $ 20.8 million in 2015.

“We have hit out targets and expect to remain on track to meet the prospectus guidance for the full-year result,” said chairman Jon Mayson.

According to its prospectus, Scales expects to pay a dividend of between 9.4 cents per share and 9.6 cents per share, implying a gross dividend yield of 7.2 percent to 8.2 percent, for the 2014 financial year, and between 10.5 cents to 10.7 cents per share, for a gross yield of 8 percent to 9.1 percent, the following year.

Source: nzherald.co.nz

Publication date: 8/29/2014


FreshPlaza.com

NZ: Lower European apple prices bite into Scales profit

NZ: Lower European apple prices bite into Scales profit

Scales Corp, the listed fruit and vegetables logistics company, said first-half profit fell 22 percent from a year earlier, reflecting lower apple prices and the one-off costs of its NZX listing.

Profit was $ 20.6 million in the six months ended June 30, down from $ 26.4 million in the same period a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 3.4 percent to $ 150.2 million.

Scales debuted on the NZX in July at $ 1.60 per share. Of the $ 148 million worth of shares sold, $ 30 million was new capital to be used to reduce debt, while private equity firm Direct Capital sold into the offer, reducing their stake to 20 percent from 84.2 percent. Shares of Scales last traded at $ 1.53, and have fallen 4.4 percent below its offer price.

The company is New Zealand’s largest apple exporter and also owns businesses across the primary sector, including sea and air freight services, cold store operations, and food ingredients, pet foods and juice concentrate businesses.

Last year the company lifted annual profit 50 percent to $ 20.4 million, on the back of rising Asian demand for apples.

“We are continuing to develop our presence in Asia and other near markets, aided by the fact we expect premium variety apple plantings to yield increased volumes for 2015,” said managing director Andy Borland. “Together with a group of other primary sector New Zealand exporters, we are establishing ServeCo, a collaborative venture based in Shanghai which is designed to assist the partners’ trade into China.”

The company is boosting its cold store network’s capacity by 16 percent, building an 8,700 square metre Polarcold plant at the Ports of Auckland inter-modal freight hub at Wiri, South Auckland. Fonterra Cooperative Group had already signed on to use half of the space, Borland said, which is expected to be complete in the third quarter of next year.

Its horticulture segment, which includes its Mr Apple business, orchards, and fruit packing and storage businesses, increased sales 1.9 percent to $ 90.1 million in the six months, while operating earnings slipped 11 percent to $ 23 million. Scales blamed a drop in European apple prices for the decline, which it said was partially offset by higher volumes, with its Mr Apple final export volume 7 percent above forecast, and higher early season prices.

Storage and logistics increased sales by 4 percent to $ 61 million, while profit slipped 7.7 percent to $ 7.9 million. Sales in its food ingredients business rose 12 percent to $ 18.8 million, for a 3.4 percent gain in earnings of $ 2.8 million.

Improved operating cash flows meant Scales halved its forecast net working capital facility to $ 11.2 million, reducing forecast average prospective net debt to $ 38.2 million, below its prospectus forecast of $ 44.1 million, it said.

In its offer documents, Scales forecast net profit to fall to $ 15.9 million in 2014, before rising to $ 20.8 million in 2015.

“We have hit out targets and expect to remain on track to meet the prospectus guidance for the full-year result,” said chairman Jon Mayson.

According to its prospectus, Scales expects to pay a dividend of between 9.4 cents per share and 9.6 cents per share, implying a gross dividend yield of 7.2 percent to 8.2 percent, for the 2014 financial year, and between 10.5 cents to 10.7 cents per share, for a gross yield of 8 percent to 9.1 percent, the following year.

Source: nzherald.co.nz

Publication date: 8/29/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Greece: Lower cherry production volumes and better prices expected

Greece: Lower cherry production volumes and better prices expected

Asepop Naoussa is a Greek company devoted to the production and export of stonefruit, including cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots, as well as other fruits like apples, kiwis and mandarins.

In terms of stonefruit, the cherry campaign will be the first one to start, usually kicking off around mid-May. At the moment the weather is quite rainy, which may have some impact at the time of selection, but regardless of the weather “this year, we expect production volumes to drop compared to last season, which was incredible in terms of quantities and led to oversupply and lower prices than normal,” explains Vasillis Bugas, of Aseopo Noussa.

The company’s main export destination is Russia, where the firm maintains good business relationships. This is naturally a cause of concern given the current political situation, as there are fears about Russia closing its borders to European exports. Mr Bugas fears that this will happen sooner or later.

As for the challenges for the upcoming cherry season, the main goal will be to sell out the entire production reaching good average prices and ensuring that both partners and clients are left satisfied. With regards to other stonefruit, “so far it is going quite well with peaches, although it is still too early to make any predictions, as a change in the weather, as it happened with the hail storms last year, may have terrible consequences at this stage of the fruit’s development process,” concludes Vasillis Bugas.

For more information:
Vasilios Bougas
ASEPOP Naoussa
Tel: 0030 2332041196
Email: [email protected]
www.asepopn.gr/en/index.htm

 

Publication date: 5/7/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Whole diet approach to lower cardiovascular risk has more evidence than low-fat diets

A study published in The American Journal of Medicine reveals that a whole diet approach, which focuses on increased intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish, has more evidence for reducing cardiovascular risk than strategies that focus exclusively on reduced dietary fat.

This new study explains that while strictly low-fat diets have the ability to lower cholesterol, they are not as conclusive in reducing cardiac deaths. By analyzing major diet and heart disease studies conducted over the last several decades, investigators found that participants directed to adopt a whole diet approach instead of limiting fat intake had a greater reduction in cardiovascular death and non-fatal myocardial infarction.

Early investigations of the relationship between food and heart disease linked high levels of serum cholesterol to increased intake of saturated fat, and subsequently, an increased rate of coronary heart disease. This led to the American Heart Association’s recommendation to limit fat intake to less than 30% of daily calories, saturated fat to 10%, and cholesterol to less than 300 mg per day.

“Nearly all clinical trials in the 1960s, 70s and 80s compared usual diets to those characterized by low total fat, low saturated fat, low dietary cholesterol, and increased polyunsaturated fats,” says study co-author James E. Dalen, MD, MPH, Weil Foundation, and University of Arizona College of Medicine. “These diets did reduce cholesterol levels. However they did not reduce the incidence of myocardial infarction or coronary heart disease deaths.”

Carefully analyzing studies and trials from 1957 to the present, investigators found that the whole diet approach, and specifically Mediterranean-style diets, are effective in preventing heart disease, even though they may not lower total serum or LDL cholesterol. The Mediterranean-style diet is low in animal products and saturated fat, and encourages intake of monounsaturated fats found in nuts and olive oil. In particular, the diet emphasizes consumption of vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, and fish.

“The potency of combining individual cardioprotective foods is substantial — and perhaps even stronger than many of the medications and procedures that have been the focus of modern cardiology,” explains co-author Stephen Devries, MD, FACC, Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology (Deerfield, IL) and Division of Cardiology, Northwestern University (Chicago, IL). “Results from trials emphasizing dietary fat reduction were a disappointment, prompting subsequent studies incorporating a whole diet approach with a more nuanced recommendation for fat intake.”

Based on the data from several influential studies, which are reviewed in the article, Dalen and Devries concluded that emphasizing certain food groups, while encouraging people to decrease others, is more cardioprotective and overall better at preventing heart disease than a blanket low-fat diet. Encouraging the consumption of olive oil over butter and cream, while increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and fish promises to be more effective.

“The last fifty years of epidemiology and clinical trials have established a clear link between diet, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular events,” concludes Dr. Dalen. “Nutritional interventions have proven that a ‘whole diet’ approach with equal attention to what is consumed as well as what is excluded is more effective in preventing cardiovascular disease than low fat, low cholesterol diets.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Chilean blueberry exports significantly lower than estimates

port strike, holidays, USDA phytosanitary measures to blame
Chilean blueberry exports significantly lower than estimates

Chilean blueberry exports the past two weeks are significantly lower than had been estimated. Exports in Week 1 totalled 2,600 tons, as compared to the 7,900 tons that had been estimated, a situation that also occurred the previous week. The drop off in blueberry exports is the result of several factors, including mid-week holidays that interfered with normal harvest operations and the San Antonio port strike that began January 3, a strike that impacted exports not only that week, but the next as well.

The phytosanitary measures implemented by the USDA, of course, also had an impact in diminishing blueberry exports to the U.S. market. Currently the situation is not as clear as it might be, as there is fruit available for export and the harvest has proceeded in a relatively normal fashion from the south central and southern zones of the country. It is interesting to note that the frozen industry has not been a great focus of attention.

While it is true that frozen volumes have increased in recent weeks, in global terms the amount of frozen fruit is lower than it was at this same time last season. This indicates that fruit is available, awaiting approval of the USDA protocol for fumigation at destination ports, what has already been corroborated, which will mean a resumption of normal shipments to the U.S. market in the next few days.

Source: Chilean Blueberry Committee
 

Publication date: 1/10/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Slightly lower South Korean citrus production

Though citrus production for the 2013-2014 season in South Korea is expected to be lower than last season’s production, a combination of factors will contribute to a higher quality crop.

Citrus production for the 2013-2014 season could reach 645,000 tons, according to a report by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That’s 3.3 percent less than last year’s total, which was 667,000 tons. That dip is due to the cyclical nature of citrus seasons in Korea, where large crops crops are typically followed by lighter crops. Because last year’s crop was large, it’s normal that the 2013-2014 season’s crop is smaller.

But despite less fruit, the fruit will likely be of better quality this year due to no damage incurred during typhoon season. Sugar content is also expected to be higher than in previous years thanks to a 50-day drought during September and October. Combined with less imported fruit, citrus prices are likely to be higher than last year’s prices.

FreshPlaza.com

Slightly lower South Korean citrus production

Though citrus production for the 2013-2014 season in South Korea is expected to be lower than last season’s production, a combination of factors will contribute to a higher quality crop.

Citrus production for the 2013-2014 season could reach 645,000 tons, according to a report by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That’s 3.3 percent less than last year’s total, which was 667,000 tons. That dip is due to the cyclical nature of citrus seasons in Korea, where large crops crops are typically followed by lighter crops. Because last year’s crop was large, it’s normal that the 2013-2014 season’s crop is smaller.

But despite less fruit, the fruit will likely be of better quality this year due to no damage incurred during typhoon season. Sugar content is also expected to be higher than in previous years thanks to a 50-day drought during September and October. Combined with less imported fruit, citrus prices are likely to be higher than last year’s prices.

FreshPlaza.com

Slightly lower South Korean citrus production

Though citrus production for the 2013-2014 season in South Korea is expected to be lower than last season’s production, a combination of factors will contribute to a higher quality crop.

Citrus production for the 2013-2014 season could reach 645,000 tons, according to a report by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That’s 3.3 percent less than last year’s total, which was 667,000 tons. That dip is due to the cyclical nature of citrus seasons in Korea, where large crops crops are typically followed by lighter crops. Because last year’s crop was large, it’s normal that the 2013-2014 season’s crop is smaller.

But despite less fruit, the fruit will likely be of better quality this year due to no damage incurred during typhoon season. Sugar content is also expected to be higher than in previous years thanks to a 50-day drought during September and October. Combined with less imported fruit, citrus prices are likely to be higher than last year’s prices.

FreshPlaza.com

Slightly lower South Korean citrus production

Though citrus production for the 2013-2014 season in South Korea is expected to be lower than last season’s production, a combination of factors will contribute to a higher quality crop.

Citrus production for the 2013-2014 season could reach 645,000 tons, according to a report by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That’s 3.3 percent less than last year’s total, which was 667,000 tons. That dip is due to the cyclical nature of citrus seasons in Korea, where large crops crops are typically followed by lighter crops. Because last year’s crop was large, it’s normal that the 2013-2014 season’s crop is smaller.

But despite less fruit, the fruit will likely be of better quality this year due to no damage incurred during typhoon season. Sugar content is also expected to be higher than in previous years thanks to a 50-day drought during September and October. Combined with less imported fruit, citrus prices are likely to be higher than last year’s prices.

FreshPlaza.com

Reforestation in Lower Mississippi Valley reduces sediment

Dec. 2, 2013 — A modeling study by U.S. Forest Service researchers shows that reforesting the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley can significantly reduce runoff from agricultural lands and the amount of sediment entering the area’s rivers and streams — and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. The journal Ecological Engineering recently published the results of the study by Forest Service Southern Research Station scientists Ying Ouyang, Ted Leininger, and Matt Moran.

The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, located in the historic floodplain of the Mississippi River, stretches from Cairo, Illinois south to the Gulf of Mexico. One of the largest coastal and river basins in the world, the area is also one of the most affected by floods, erosion, and sediment deposition as a result of more than a century of converting bottomland hardwood forests to agricultural lands.

Sediments from frequently flooded agricultural lands often carry pesticides and fertilizers, the latter associated with the formation of the hypoxic (low oxygen) dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Forest buffers reduce runoff and sediment load from flooded agricultural lands; in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, the frequently flooded agricultural land in the batture (land that lies between a river and its levees, pronounced batch-er) seems a prime site to start reforestation efforts.

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) commissioned the study, and co-funded it with Forest Service State and Private Forestry. “This study provides further evidence of the key role forests play in flood control and in reducing sediment flow from agricultural lands into our watersheds,” notes Carlton Owen, president and CEO of the Endowment. “The new forest areas would also provide regional economic and environmental benefits by not only improving water quality but also wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.”

The researchers chose two Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley watersheds — the large Lower Yazoo River Watershed and the smaller Peters Creek Watershed — to model the effects of reforestation in or near the battures on water outflow and sediment load (the amount of solid material carried by a river or stream). They performed two simulations, the first to predict water outflow and sediment load without reforestation, the second to project over 10 years the potential impacts of converting different levels — 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent — of the land to forest in or near the battures.

“Comparing simulation results with and without reforestation showed that converting agricultural lands close to streams into forests would greatly lessen water outflow and reduce the effects of sediment load as far as the Gulf of Mexico,” says Ouyang, lead author of the article and research hydrologist at the SRS Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research. “In general, the larger the area converted, the greater the effect. For the Lower Yazoo River watershed, a two-fold increase in forest land area would result in approximately a two-fold reduction in the annual volume of water outflow and the mass of sediment load moving into the river.”

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Reforestation in Lower Mississippi Valley reduces sediment

Dec. 2, 2013 — A modeling study by U.S. Forest Service researchers shows that reforesting the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley can significantly reduce runoff from agricultural lands and the amount of sediment entering the area’s rivers and streams — and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. The journal Ecological Engineering recently published the results of the study by Forest Service Southern Research Station scientists Ying Ouyang, Ted Leininger, and Matt Moran.

The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, located in the historic floodplain of the Mississippi River, stretches from Cairo, Illinois south to the Gulf of Mexico. One of the largest coastal and river basins in the world, the area is also one of the most affected by floods, erosion, and sediment deposition as a result of more than a century of converting bottomland hardwood forests to agricultural lands.

Sediments from frequently flooded agricultural lands often carry pesticides and fertilizers, the latter associated with the formation of the hypoxic (low oxygen) dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Forest buffers reduce runoff and sediment load from flooded agricultural lands; in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, the frequently flooded agricultural land in the batture (land that lies between a river and its levees, pronounced batch-er) seems a prime site to start reforestation efforts.

The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) commissioned the study, and co-funded it with Forest Service State and Private Forestry. “This study provides further evidence of the key role forests play in flood control and in reducing sediment flow from agricultural lands into our watersheds,” notes Carlton Owen, president and CEO of the Endowment. “The new forest areas would also provide regional economic and environmental benefits by not only improving water quality but also wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.”

The researchers chose two Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley watersheds — the large Lower Yazoo River Watershed and the smaller Peters Creek Watershed — to model the effects of reforestation in or near the battures on water outflow and sediment load (the amount of solid material carried by a river or stream). They performed two simulations, the first to predict water outflow and sediment load without reforestation, the second to project over 10 years the potential impacts of converting different levels — 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent — of the land to forest in or near the battures.

“Comparing simulation results with and without reforestation showed that converting agricultural lands close to streams into forests would greatly lessen water outflow and reduce the effects of sediment load as far as the Gulf of Mexico,” says Ouyang, lead author of the article and research hydrologist at the SRS Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research. “In general, the larger the area converted, the greater the effect. For the Lower Yazoo River watershed, a two-fold increase in forest land area would result in approximately a two-fold reduction in the annual volume of water outflow and the mass of sediment load moving into the river.”

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Wal-Mart Eyes Lower Cap-Ex in FY2015

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here said Tuesday it expects net sales for the current fiscal year ending to fall within the range of $ 475 billion to $ 480 billion — an increase between 1.9% and 3%, compared with a 5% increase to $ 466.1 billion a year ago.

Charles Holley, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said Wal-Mart anticipates sales growth of 3% to 5% next year, which would boost total corporate sales to around $ 500 billion.

“In terms of leverage, our operating income will grow at the same rate, or faster, than sales due to our continued focus on operating expense discipline. Generating strong free cash flow remains a key priority.”


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


The company said it plans to reduce capital spending next year — fiscal 2015 — by approximately $ 200 million, to a range between $ 11.8 billion and $ 12.8 billion, with accelerated growth of small-format stores — compared with expectations of spending between $ 12 billion and $ 13 billion for the current fiscal year, the company said.

“We’re spending in a disciplined manner by setting up a more streamlined real-estate process,” Mike Duke, president and chief executive officer, told an investors conference here. “As we continue to improve our sales per square foot, Wal-Mart will continue to grow through new stores and e-commerce while expanding our logistics and fulfillment network in critical markets.”

Capital spending in the U.S. will fall in a range of $ 6 billion to $ 6.5 billion this year, up $ 500 million over the company’s originally projected forecast due to an acceleration of small-format openings and e-commerce initiatives.

Wal-Mart said it plans to open 115 supercenters in fiscal 2015, compared with 125 this year; and to accelerate the growth of small-format stores, mostly Neighborhood Markets, projecting between 120 and 150 next year, compared with 120 this year.

According to Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., “We will accelerate growth of our Neighborhood Markets because of their strong returns, consistent comp-sales performance and double-digit net sales increases; and we will continue to build and leverage the supercenter format, which remains our primary format for growth.

“The combination of our large- and small-store formats allows us to strengthen our market-share position and give customers convenient access to shop for food and general merchandise, as well as [have] access to our e-commerce offerings.

“We believe our multi-format portfolio will fuel the next generation of retail; enable the convergence of digital and physical store locations through e-commerce; and unlock value, giving our customers anytime, anywhere access to Wal-Mart,” Simon added.

Read more: Wal-Mart Eyes ‘Game Changer” for Small-Format Stores

Wal-Mart also said it expects to open between 17 and 22 new Sam’s Clubs in fiscal 2015, at a cost of $ 1 billon, compared with between 19 and 21 openings this year, at a cost of $ 1 billion. The company said it plans more than 70 remodels this year, compared with 55 to 60 next year.

According to Rosalind Brewer, Sam’s president and CEO, “The new clubs we’ve opened this year are out-performing our expectations, and we will continue to increase our openings. We’ve improved our construction cost structure, and with the productivity initiatives in place and consistent layouts, we are opening clubs that cost less to run and improve the shopping experience.”

In its international division, Wal-Mart said it will decrease capital spending this year to $ 4 billion to $ 4.5 billion, down by $ 500 million for the company’s original projections, due to fewer new openings in Mexico and India and the planned closings of approximately 50 under-performing stores in Brazil and China.

In fiscal 2015 Wal-Mart said it expects to spend about the same amount as this year — $ 4 billion to $ 4.5 billion — across 26 international markets, “which reflects actions to continue strengthening our position in markets like China and Brazil,” Doug McMillon, Walmart International president and CEO, said. “We are managing our portfolio to be a best-in-class operation through innovation, making compliance a competitive advantage and winning with an e-commerce strategy that offers a unique shopping experience across all channels.”

Neil Ashe, the company’s global e-commerce president and CEO, said Wal-Mart will continue to invest “significantly in our global technology platform, next-generation fulfillment network and the best talent.”

Read more: Wal-Mart Opens 24 Stores Amid Union Protests

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Spain: Larger lemon production volumes and lower prices

Turkey benefited by lower exchange rate
Spain: Larger lemon production volumes and lower prices

The rains in late August and early September had promised a two week advance in the start of the lemon season, although the unusual heat and lack of rain that followed have pushed it back to the normal period, allowing for the produce from the Southern Hemisphere to be sold out. Consequently, the Fino lemon harvest started two weeks ago and will last until March, when it will be replaced by the Verna from early April to late June.

Production volumes for this season are estimated to reach 910,000 tonnes; an 11% increase compared to last season, when 820,000 tonnes were harvested. “This could still change depending on the weather and pace of the harvest, as calibres may change and consequently also the volumes. It is not a great increase in production, but it will allow us to ensure the fruit’s availability for the entire campaign,” explains José Antonio García, director of AILIMPO.

The bad news for Spain is that Turkey already started with sales on 20 September with a 20% increase in production and much lower prices. “Their production costs are obviously much lower, but it should also be considered that the Turkish government provides financial aid to exports of around 60€ per tonne, and that the exchange rate between the Turkish Lira and the Euro, marked by the 19% devaluation of the former, allows Turkey to reduce prices without it having an impact on profitability.”


“This makes it difficult for Spanish exporters at the beginning of the campaign, especially in Eastern Europe, where the Spanish and Turkish produce collide. Last year, Turkey had very little presence in those countries, but things have changed this season.”

In any case, these markets are generally the recipients of second class produce; and thus, if things got difficult in the fresh fruit market, “Spain has the advantage of a really advanced processing industry with a very large capacity.”

Prices are slightly lower than in the same period of 2012, and according to José Antonio García, this trend is expected to continue during the entire campaign. Despite this, “we are moderately optimistic about the campaign, during which we should be able to commercialise the entire production while obtaining profitable prices, both for producers as well as exporters.”

Publication date: 10/9/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Lower Swipe Fees Cut Prices, Create Jobs: NGA

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Grocers Association here said Tuesday a newly issued economic study demonstrates that lowering debit-card swipe fees reduces prices and creates jobs.

“The study reinforces [the idea] that more needs to be done to correct the mistakes of the Federal Reserve on debit fees and to curtail the excessive credit-card fees that burden America’s consumers and merchants,” said Peter Larkin, president and chief executive officer of NGA.


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


The study, released by the Merchants Payments Coalition — of which NGA is a member — indicates debit-card swipe fee reforms last year lowered consumer prices by $ 5.8 billion, which led to increased spending, which helped create more than 37,000 new jobs while also saving merchants $ 2.6 billion.

However, the savings and job gains could have been substantially larger, the study said, had the fees been cut to 12 cents as originally recommended by the Federal Reserve, rather than the current rate of 21 cents plus five basis points of the transaction value. If the cuts had been implemented, the study pointed out, consumer savings would have gone up an additional $ 2.79 billion, with an additional $ 1.2 billion in merchant savings, and nearly 18,000 more jobs would have been created.

Read more: NGA Outlines Opposition to Interchange Fee Settlement

Further, the study said, if swipe fees for all credit-card transactions had been held to the same level as debit fees in 2012, consumers would have saved an additional $ 15.4 billion and merchants would have saved another $ 6.9 billion, which would have supported creation of 98,600 more jobs per year.

According to Larkin, “While the Federal Reserve Board’s rule incorrectly allowed debit swipe fees to be raised on small purchases — and could have produced even more benefits for consumers and merchants by lowering fees to the more reasonable and proportional levels originally proposed [between 5 cents and 12 cents] — this study clearly illustrates consumers and the economy benefitted from the passage of the Durbin Amendment.”

That amendment, passed in 2010, said debit fees had to be reasonable and proportional to the cost of processing a transaction, an NGA spokesman explained.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News