Demand likely to exceed supplies on mandarins in early 2022

From Fresh Plaza | 29 December 2021

Overview of mandarins season in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on December 24, 2021. 

Supplies of mandarins are anticipated to tighten up in the new year.

At Trinity Fruit Sales in Fresno, CA, Levon Ganajian says that depending on the variety, mandarin production is generally down thanks partly to the heat wave seen this summer but more likely because the trees are alternate-bearing. “Our clementines were down 50 percent and the upcoming Tangos are down 40 percent,” he says.

Volumes (in Kg) of clementines in the US Market
chart 2021 12 29T094156.272

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Currently Trinity Fruit is winding down its clementine season. “We didn’t see a lot of issues with supplies, primarily because there was so much imported product coming in that overlapped with domestic clementine production,” says Ganajian, noting its own production should finish up sometime next week.

Other shipping countries

Imports were coming in from countries such as Spain on the East Coast and Chile and Peru on the West Coast.

Following the clementines and squeezing in before Tango production begins is the Page variety. “These have really good sugars and it has a little bit of a firmer peel but they eat like candy,” says Ganajian, noting the Page tends to see similar volumes year after year, as it will this year.

Then for the first week in January is something new for Trinity Fruit–sweet Dekopon mandarins it’s marketing under its Sweet Honeys brand. “We have almost 400 acres of it planted. They’re not all in production but we’re going to have a pretty good-sized crop this year.

And our production will double each year for the next four to five years,” he says. “It’s a big deal for us and we’ll be a big player in this field.” Trinity Fruit is packing the fruit in a one layer euro pack or consumer boxes, though it is working with customer pack requests as well.

Tangos, then W. Murcotts

Following that is its Tango production starting around January 10th and that kicks off one of the smallest crop percentage wise Ganajian has seen for sometime in Tangos. But W. Murcotts, which begin in March, will also be down by 40-50 percent in volume.

Reported prices (in USD) of tangerines  in the US Market, by varieties
chart 2021 12 28T080547.486

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Meanwhile demand is good for mandarins and expected to strengthen. “Because there have been so many imports, there was a lot of fruit out there,” says Ganajian, adding that Trinity also has organic mandarin options as well. “But now that the imports are cleaning up, demand will exceed supply all the way through the rest of the season.”

Not surprisingly, pricing should strengthen accordingly. “Pricing right now is pretty decent. It’s similar to last year, maybe a little bit up from last year. But going forward through the season, prices should be up a minimum 10 percent but it could be more,” he says.

Historical prices (in USD) of tangerines (Murcott)  in the US Market
chart 2021 12 28T080255.440 1

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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