"We have had a very strong orange market," said Trent Bishop, vice president of sales for Lone Star Citrus Growers.
"We are in a demand-exceeds-supply situation."
Speaking during the first week of November, he
said the California Navel orange season was just getting under way so he
expected the orange price to drop a bit, but not too far.
noted that the f.o.b. market on Nov. 3 was in the $20s with many orders piling up despite California's entry into the market.
The overall grapefruit market wasn't quite as strong, but it was still very good with the larger sizes definitely in a demand-exceeds-supply situation.
In early November, Bishop
said the famed Texas red grapefruit was peaking on the 40 to 48 sizes with those SKUs seeing a market in the $12-$14 range.
Larger fruit, defined as 36 size and larger, was rare indeed and the market was in the neighborhood of $26 per carton.
While the fruit will continue to size as the season progresses, Bishop
expects to continue to receive a significant premium for the larger fruit through much of November.
said Florida - a main grapefruit competitor - "doesn't appear to have a lot of big fruit hanging on the trees.
I don't see any factors that are going to change this market for a while."
explained that the mid- to late October rain that caused Texas flooding, especially in the Houston and Dallas areas, did drop significant rain in the Rio Grande Valley as well.
noted that it was not a tree- or fruit-damaging rain.
"The weather has interrupted the harvest schedule so it has been a challenge to fill orders, but there has been no lasting impact."
said for a tree to be impacted negatively, it would have to be in standing water for an extended period.
In each of the rainstorms, most groves in south Texas received a manageable amount of rain and the groves were able to dry out within a couple of days.
, however, said the rain will have a positive impact on the sizing of the fruit.
"Usually in about four to five weeks (after a significant amount of rain) we will start to see the sizing."
said another positive as Texas moves into the holiday season is interest from foreign buyers.
While Japan and other Asian buyers have traditionally imported some Texas fruit each season, Europe has been the domain of Florida for the most part.
"Within the last 24 hours I have gotten several inquiries from both Japan and Europe," Bishop
"It looks like within a couple of weeks we will be shipping to both of those places."
The added inquiries are most likely a result of Florida having one of its smaller citrus crops in the last 50 years because of the citrus greening issue.
said that Lone Star's grapefruit rebranding effort this year was very well received at the Produce Marketing Association
convention in Atlanta in October.
"The reception was very positive," he