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ClemenOrange Mandarins Set To Take Center Stage in China

July 05, 2022

On July 2, Shanghai ShengGuo celebrated the arrival in Shanghai of this season’s first batch of ClemenOrange virtually seedless South African mandarins. This first ClemenOrange shipment comes fresh on the heels of LemonGold seedless lemons, another member of the Gold family of citrus products from Fruitalyst that arrived in China last month.

The summer solstice has come and gone and at this time of year citrus is in relatively slack supply in China — with some domestically produced oranges mainly from Hubei’s “summer orange” harvest and some imported Australian oranges. The market is therefore ripe for ClemenOrange virtually seedless mandarins to take the stage with their perfectly timed window of availability.

Consumers and members of the fruit trade in China may be more familiar with ClemenOrange by its variety name, Leanri, a clementine and Murcott hybrid that was bred in South Africa. Individual fruits weigh from 130 to 200 grams and feature a thin, easy-peeling skin. The fruit is plump and juicy, with a high juice content, an enjoyable flavor balance and an intense citrus aroma. Moreover, it is nearly seedless, which makes ClemenOrange a good match for younger consumers and children.

The first shipment of ClemenOrange supplied by ShengGuo will be the first of the season on the Chinese market. The fruit will be sold in three retail outlets: RT-Mart, Auchan and Dashang.

South African mandarins are mainly grown in the country’s north. There, the pristine valleys have fertile soil and ideal climates and are far from urban centers. The harvest is concentrated from mid-May to the end of June. Because Leanri is a relatively newly commercialized variety, the trees are still maturing and the quality is getting better and better every year. This year, heavy rainfall caused some of the ClemenOrange crop to have a lower acid content and lighter color than is preferred, but to compensate only the fruits from the best-performing orchards have been selected for export to China.

With demand running high and a relatively small supply, this season’s ClemenOrange shipments to China are sure to sell out briskly.

Images: Shanghai ShengGuo and Fruitalyst Pty Ltd.

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