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Importers await arrival of South African citrus

by Tad Thompson | June 14, 2010
In Cape Town, South Africa, a Seatrade refrigerated breakbulk vessel bearing the season's first South African citrus bound for the United States was loaded May 25 and is due to dock June 24 in the port of Philadelphia.

"Our export program to the United States has been unscathed by strike action, which was resolved about 10 days ago," Joretha Geldenhuys, chief executive officer of the Western Cape Citrus Producers' Forum, said in a June 8 press release. "The reason for this is that the vast bulk of our shipments travel to the U.S. on reefer ships, and the workers responsible for loading these ships are not members of the striking union."

Ms. Geldenhuys added that the forum, which represents more than 350 South African citrus growers, was confident it would ship close to 50,000 tons of citrus to the United States this season, up from fewer than 40,000 tons in 2009.