Around 50% less pomegranates in California
POM Wonderful has its own production and is the largest pomegranate growing company in California, with around 10,000 hectares of pomegranates.
Gerhard Leodolter of POM Wonderful indicates that most rain fell at the end of October. "This affected all of the pomegranate growers' orchards. During the rain most growers were still harvesting. Due to the rain the fruit that was still on the trees couldn't be sold due to tears, splits and inferior quality."
Around a third of the POM Wonderful volume is exported. "Even now, though the production is low, exports are still a third of the total. Our main buyer is Asia. This year our export season only lasted 4 week instead of 10 to 12 weeks."
The harvest in California was finished earlier due to the rain. The prices have risen, but this isn't due to the rain.
"The price agreements had already been made before we knew there was a shortage. Over the last two years the wages and water prices have risen. The price of pomegranates has risen with them."
At the moment the juices are still the same price as usual. "They may rise in the near future due to the higher fruit costs." ■