California Citrus Mutual (CCM) president, Casey Creamer, has called on the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for greater support, as retaliatory trade tariffs continue to impact growers’ bottom lines.
Creamer congratulated the administration on the completion of the Phase One trade deal with China but emphasised the need for citrus to be prioritised, with the peak export season set to begin in early March.
According to reports, navel sales volumes are down 36 per cent in 2019 compared to the previous three-year average.
Administration officials said they fully intend to ensure that China keeps its commitment to purchase additional agricultural commodities, but to date have not received requests to reduce the buys in the face of the Covid-19 outbreak
Creamer said additional citrus purchases would be beneficial for Chinese consumers dealing with the outbreak, and would assist grower returns, which are currently well below the cost of production.