Table Grapes – Mexico / Coachella
Red Seedless – The red seedless grape market will be in flux this week, with the last of imported Chilean arrivals cleaning up on both coasts. Transition will continue into new region fruit in both Coachella and Mexico, but cool weather has kept harvest so far to a minimum. Growers will struggle to meet sugar levels until warmer weather arrives at the end of the week. Harvest and crossings from both regions will be minimal and this will help to keep FOB pricing stable. Expect to see volume finally arrive from Mexico around 6/5 and good promotable volume with lower FOB’s to carry through the balance of June into early July. Plan on promotions starting in June and running with good volume to allow for strong movement.
Green Seedless – Chile has finished and Mexico has taken center stage. Crossings have been light so far, as growers fight to get brix allowing them to cross the border. Early Sweet, Primes and Perlette are the first to cross. FOB prices have remained high due to limited crossings, but volume will finally start turning the corner this week. More growers will step in and this will help FOB pricing to drop to a marketable level for 6/5 ad period. Plan on good promotable volume in June from Mexico. Coachella is very slow out of the gap and will not begin harvesting greens for another 7 days.
Black Seedless – Very limited crossings in Mexico due to low sugar and lack of growing temps. Only small amounts have crossed, not anywhere near meeting the demand in the industry. Summer Royal will continue to harvest slowly over the next 7 – 10 days and continue to keep the market tight. Avoid promos until volume picks up in a few weeks. Coachella will continue to lag behind and keep the market snug.
Red Globe – Chile will continue on for another month or so, until Mexico gets off the ground. FOB pricing will remain stable, and then slowly increase as volume starts to clean up. Continue to promote for another month.
California Tree Fruit
Cherry – May rains have been disastrous to the CA cherry crop. Rains have caused field delays and major splitting in fields that were being harvested last week. Bings are already showing signs of major quality concerns well before harvest in Lodi. Most growers will look at avoiding harvest if they can receive crop insurance claims. Avoid any and all ad promos for CA fruit for the remainder of the crop. The only saving grace may be an early start to Washington cherries, helping to get retailers into promotable volume after the CA crop failure.
Apricot – Even with the recent rains, a good volume apricot crop remains. FOB pricing will level out and allow for good promotional opportunities through the month of June, going into early July. Quality will allow for a great run and a peak in flavor. 2019 will be one of the better apricot crops on record, but sizing structure remain one tray size smaller than historical averages.
Yellow Nectarine – Recent rains caused issues on picking of Zee Fire nectarines, with staining and streaking becoming an issue. Growers continue to pick, but volume on of the earliest varieties of the season has fallen off slightly. Once the wet weather passes, harvest volume will return to normal with growers expected to see a larger percentage of packs falling into the utility pack. Good volume of premium fruit will begin by mid-June and allow for promos for mid-June through August. FOB pricing will slowly adjust.
Yellow Peach – yellow peach volume has dropped slightly due to the May rain delays, but volume is right around the corner. May Princess have finished as growers get ready to transition to the first of the Flame varieties of the season. Promotable volume will start kicking in by the end of the week and will go full bore for the next 4 months. Barring any major damage due to recent rains showing up in the field, crop volume will be good and allow for promos. Sizing structure will peak on large trays, with most smaller fruit now going into bag programs.
White Nectarine – early varieties like Polar Ice have thrown decent volume at the start of the season, but size has peaked small on the first variety of the season. Decent supplies will carry for this week, and then we will hit a gap period until the next varieties arrive. Expect promotable volume to arrive by mid-June once Pearl varieties hit. Then the wheels will come off the wagon and allow for promos through September.
White Peach – volume on Snow Angel variety have begun to fall off, but inventories still remain. Similar to white nectarine, once supplies finish up growers will be waiting to start harvest on the first of the Snow varieties. Some staining is already being seen due to May rains, but packers will do due diligence to keep the pack clean. Promotions in June, July and August at its peak to allow for good opportunities in the category.
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