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LoBue Citrus announced the first week in June that it has formed partnerships with growers in Chile and South Africa to import lemons, Navel oranges and Mandarins, which will be shipped to the ports of Long Beach, CA, and Philadelphia.

The program is expected to start in late June and run through October.

This is the third consecutive year that LoBue has offered imported fruit at the Long Beach port and the first year that it has offered Chilean and South African imports through Philadelphia.

Rick Osterhues, vice president of sales and marketing for LoBue, expects supplies to be stable throughout the season.

“With our emphasis on customer service, an expanded import program that provided multiple shipping locations was a priority,” Mr. Osterhues said in a June 7 press release. “Volatile fuel costs dictate a pronounced need for competitive shipping locations that help our customers manage transportation costs.”

Loading will be available at both ports, with Chilean fruit also available at LoBue’s Lindsay, CA, packinghouse, which the company said is an ideal option for customers wishing to consolidate orders for imported fruit and domestic Valencias.

The citrus will be packed into 15-kilogram cartons. Sizing is expected to be slightly smaller than last year’s crop, with most fruit in the medium-to-large size range (88s to 56s, with smaller quantities of 48s).