We are reaching the tail end of the domestic red grape crop, as growers have finished all field harvest and are working off of either inventory or in house tote packing. Scarlet Royal, Jack Salute, Allison and Holiday will make up the varietal mix. Decent supplies still remain, but quality has become the main focus between old lots and fresher packs that will make good delivery. This has created a split market with strong, cleaner fruit, starting to demand a premium. Red grapes supplies will stretch for another 3 – 4 weeks depending upon movement, with a few larger growers stretching into January. Imported reds have already arrived on the East Coast, with the West Coast shortly behind. Expect to transition into imports in early January to keep quality consistent.
The green grape market is following the red. Even with good supplies still remaining, quality has become the biggest concern. Based on inventories, another 2 – 3 weeks remain for the domestic crop. But continuing to make good delivery will be the challenge on the tail end of the season. Some growers may even stretch into early January with domestic supplies, but the quality will not be strong enough. Major retailers have already begun or have plans to transition into imports quickly to avoid quality problems. Peruvian and Brazilian greens have already been arriving to the East Coast for a month and will be provide a safer quality option, at a much higher price.
Black seedless are finishing for the season. Some light supplies remain to finish out the season. Quality remains respectable and should get growers to the finish. Another 10 – 14 days remain on movement, then transition into imports. Imported blacks won’t arrive on the West Coast until mid-January.
The red globe crop from CA has virtually finished, with only sparse supplies remaining. It is time to begin transitioning into importer Peruvian globes on both coasts. Quality will pick up and remain strong with good anticipated volume from Peru this season.
Cherries from both Argentina and Chile will continue to arrive on both coasts. Good supplies are expected from both growing regions this season, with Chile seeing a big increase in volume. The bigger crop will allow for good promotable volume, especially once vessel arrivals hit in January. Due to COVID restrictions on flight space, FOB’s have remained high due to additional air freight cost to LAX, Miami and NJ. But volume remain strong enough to promote on air flights at higher FOBs, with growers really looking to push ad volume on vessel cherry in January and early February.
Yellow peach arrivals are close with a very limited arrival hitting both coasts, but not in shippable volume. The first true arrivals are not expected until around 12/21, right before the holidays. Due to the crop being historically late, promotable volume will arrive on the first break bulk vessels and allow retailers to start building momentum in January on peach sales.
Like the peach crop, yellow nectarines are running around 14 days behind historical averages on the harvest. This may move up due to warmer weather, but this has delayed the first volume arrivals to the Unites States to be pushed back until late December. The volume will in line with the historical average, but don’t expect to start carrying in stores until early January, with peak volume in late January, February, and early March.
The plum crop will start in a very light way, but not see sizable arrivals until January once additional early varieties begin harvest. By mid-January, enough volume of both red and black plum will arrive in good supply. Better growing conditions and increased water availability in Chile should increase both crop volume, as well as fruit size.
Clementine’s volume from Central CA will roll along strong. Harvest conditions are ideal and look to remain that way for the foreseeable forecast. Most growers have finished Satsuma mandarins and have moved into true clementine varieties. Expect a smooth crop, with good volume as long as Mother Nature cooperates. Supplies will carry into mid to late April as usual, possibly longer based on COVID-related movement (or lack of).
The domestic navel market is gaining momentum. Crop volume will continue to harvest well over the next 4 to 5 months. Fruit size and quality look strong, with the weather cooperating. Fruit size has begun to pick up as we have moved out of gassed fruit and into more naturally colored fruit. Fruit size has moved from 72 and 88 peaks, into now a 56 peak along with a good range of other sizes. Now is the time to promote and maintain historical sales against a COVID shopping environment.