Grapes and Tree Fruit Market Report Dec 28 to Jan 1
We have reached the finish line. The last couple hurdles of the season remain, with still some inventory left to move. But quality will start to wane as retailers look to make the transition into imported fruit, especially East Coast receivers. Another 7 – 10 days remain of good shippable CA fruit. Then the focus should move onto imports as the East Coast prepares for its first break bulk Chilean vessel. FOB’s will remain lower, in both countries of origin, compared to past seasons to help spur movement right out of the gate.
The green seedless market from CA continues to drag on, with another 7 – 10 days left of shippable supplies, similar to reds. After that cut-off, the quality will have begun to hit the wall on the remaining CA and it will be necessary to transition into imports. Expect import volume to remain stable and increase to meet demand by mid-January. The late Autumn King crop from CA will stretch the season but expect good transitional demand once the quality hits the breaks.
Only light supplies of CA fruit remain on black seedless, enough to get us up to the New Years. Quality remains respectable and should get growers to the finish. Almost time to transition into imports. Imported blacks won’t arrive on the West Coast until mid-January, so there MAY be a slight gap on the commodity until fresh fruit arrives.
Red Globe – CA is done on red globes, with the transition in full effect. Retailers on both coasts should focus on moving into Peruvian fruit to bolster up quality for the long haul. Availability is expected to remain good and meet demand through most of the season.
This week will be the last arrivals of air cherries from Chile, as the remainder of the crop volume will start arriving by vessel. As the transportation transition happens, that will leave some small arrival gaps. Expect Chilean vessel cherries to come into volume in early to mid-January, allowing FOB’s to come down and get to a promotable point for the month of January. Air shots of Argentinian fruit will continue, at higher money due to transportation cost. First vessel volume is expected the 1st – 2nd week of January.
Yellow peach arrival volume to the West Coast continues to get pushed back due to container/pier delays caused by COVID restrictions. The first true arrivals are not expected until around 12/28, right after the holidays. Due to the crop being historically late, the promotable volume will arrive on the first breakbulk vessels (1/14) and allow retailers to start building momentum in January on peach sales. Even with small container arrivals, the volume is too inconsistent to promote until the breakbulk arrivals start.
Yellow nectarines are still taking a long time to start arriving stateside. Like the peach crop, yellow nectarines are running around 14 days behind historical averages on the harvest. This has delayed the first volume arrivals to the United States to be pushed back until late December or even the first breakbulk vessel for volume. 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 on the first vessel, but not see sizable arrivals until January once additional early varieties begin arriving. 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. The plum volume will remain up, depending upon how demand reacts will determine FOB’s for the crop.
Clementine volume from Central CA will roll along strong. Heavy fog and dampness in the Central Valley will slightly delay harvest in the early morning, but crews will still be able to pick a majority of the day once the overcast lifts. 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).
Domestic navel volume continues on strong. Heavy fog will also slow down navel harvest, but will not be detrimental to availability or FOB prices. 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.
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