According to trade sources, many shipping programmes to Europe from Florida have been cancelled simply because of a lack of fruit - a situation that will extend past Christmas.
Current prices for the first early picked fruit range from £8.50-£10.50 per carton (of 40-48 fruit) on the wholesale markets. These are expected to strengthen following the release of new figures by the Mediterranean Citrus Producers’ Association (CLAM).
The region’s total crop of 451,400 tonnes is 10% smaller than last year. From this total, only 220,000 tonnes are expected to be exported fresh.
The Mediterranean grapefruit market is dominated by Turkey, which exports 90,000 tonnes a year, and Israel (72,000 tonnes). Cyprus and Spain are the other major sources in the region, exporting 28,000 tonnes each.