The next month will bring good volume on red seedless as the Chilean crop reaches that home stretch on the crop volume. Peru has finished for the season, so Chile will carry the volume. Currently, good supplies of big premium varieties like Timco, Sweet Celebration and Allison continue to arrive to both coasts. Crimson will start to increase in volume in late May / early April and bring on the bulk of the late-season inventory. Due to drought conditions, expect later red grapes to drop in size and peak on M/L and L code. Now is the time to promote and carry red seedless as the focal point of the grape category through the balance of the season.
The green seedless market has flipped, as volume has decreased due to a combination of drought conditions and the shipment of long term storage greens. Decreasing volume on both coasts have firmed FOB’s quickly and will continue to put strain on the market for good fruit that will make delivery to retail customers. A split market will remain, with some rough quality fruit still in the market at decreased FOB’s. Avoid green promos going forward, as we will reach a demand-exceeds supply point going into April that will stretch until Mexico starts in May.
Black seedless volume will peak over the next two weeks, with good supplies of both Unknown and Autumn Royal varieties arriving to both coasts. FOB’s will adjust from the higher points seen in February and allow retailers to promote black seedless in March. Now is the time to promote and gain some traction as the green market begins to flip.
Red globes will remain a hot commodity, mainly due to still light supplies in the system. Some availability will be present, but FOB’s are expected to remain consistent and strong as demand remains high. Globes will stretch into mid May, depending upon total volume arriving at the end of the Chilean crop.
The yellow peach crop has reached its finale. Only light supplies are expected to arrive over the next 10 days, with the crop finishing by April 1st for any volume. Continue to carry for day-to-day business in the time being. Ad promos should finish and wind down over the next week, as the imports finish and domestic is not far away.
The nectarine crop is on its swan song as well, but one more blip of yellow nectarine volume is expected to arrive before the end of March. This will stretch yellow nectarines up to around April 6th, then wind down quickly as arrivals of fresh fruit have finished. Promote yellow nectarines for another 2 weeks, and then it is time to pull the plug. Avoid white nectarines as it is still demand exceeds to the end of the crop.
The red plum crop will wind down quick, as we are seeing the last of the Larry Ann arrivals. Only a small amount of Flavor Falls will arrive to carry the crop further into April. Now is the time to focus on black plums, as Black Kat and Angeleno has now become the star. Good volume will arrive over the next 3 weeks, but will peak on smaller sizes likes 50’s due to drought conditions. Promote black plum leading up to mid April, and then expect supplies to finish quickly as retailers get ready for the start of the domestic crop.
Pears – Imports
Import pears have hit a good lick, with arrivals from both Chile and Argentina hitting both coasts. Sizing is peaking on 80’s and 90’s, with good arrivals expected over the next 2 months. Go out and promote import Bartlett’s, as quality is strong and the fruit is eating very well. FOB prices will remain steady, but at a level to allow for volume promotion to get through the bulk of the crop.
Clementine volume will roll along steadily, with only a slight blip of rain this last week that barely hampered harvest. Quality will remain strong, with good supplies from the field and a focus to push out aggressive ads on smaller sizes. Expect the crop to run through most of April, barring any drastic weather.
The domestic navel market has suffered due to export demand and the coronavirus scares, creating a glut of fruit in the industry. Navel FOB’s have dropped below price scale, in an effort to move volume through the system and increase consumption. Deals can be had on 72’s and larger, with most fruit peaking on 40 / 48 / 56’s for the remainder of the crop. Quality is good and with the slow movement, expects the navel crop to stretch into early June with late-season growers picking gibbed fruit.
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