GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ -- The first breakbulk vessel of the 2011 South African citrus season began discharging June 20 at the Gloucester Marine Fruit Terminal, here. In recent weeks, smaller volumes of South African citrus arrived by container at Port Elizabeth, NJ.
The large vessel carried exactly 2,500 pallets of South African citrus, according to Tom Mastromarco, the terminal's director of fruit marketing and customer service, who said that the next vessel of South African fruit is expected to arrive July 4. There are 12 shipments scheduled to arrive about every 10 days until late October.
A press release from the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum said that the first vessel carried 91,000 cartons of Navels and 66,000 cartons of clementines.
The Forum indicated that other South African citrus varieties scheduled to arrive in the United States this summer are Midknight, which is a Valencia varietal, and Star Ruby grapefruit, which was first introduced to the United States in the 2010 season.
Shipments of South African summer citrus fruits have increased to about 41,000 tons last year from 50 tons in 1999. It is expected that 2011 shipments at a similar level to last year, according to the Forum.