Red Seedless – Red Seedless volume has been light for most of January and early February on imports, but volume will finally start peaking out of Chile to meet demand. As Peru slows down, Chilean volume will pick up steam with a combination of Flames, Sweet Celebration, Magenta, Timco and a few other premium varieties. Quality is expected to be strong as we transition into new varieties. The biggest change will be size, as smaller size structures will push up into L and XL size codes. The market will slowly adjust as volume come on. Now is the time to start promoting and moving into good volume.
Green Seedless – green grape volume has hit its peak on Sugraone and Thompson variety from both Peru and Chile. Good supplies in January and February have allowed for early promos. Now, with the season progressing, volume will slow down on some varieties out of Chile and overall volume to both coasts will drop off slightly and be replaced by red seedless. The aggressive FOB’s currently will hold for another 7 – 10 days, but expect the market to flip rather quickly. March will be tighter on green, especially for good quality. The droughts in Chile may also affect total volume of storage or late season green.
Black Seedless – The black seedless crop remains light right now as only small supplies are arriving from Chile and Peru due to lighter sets in both countries. Volume will remain light; keeping FOB’s higher than anticipated for this point of the season. Once Chile starts harvesting Autumn Royal variety in mid-March, expect volume to pick up slightly and bring some additional supplies.
Red Globe – Amazingly, red globe supplies are short as most fruit from Peru was either dug out in favor of seedless of being exported to other markets. Some light supplies continue to arrive on both coasts, but FOB pricing has stayed much stronger than the historical average. Expect supplies all the way into May once Chile begins, but volume will be lighter and keep the market strong. Avoid any ad volume.
Peaches – Yellow peach volume has been lighter over the last few weeks compared to yellow nectarine, but supplies still remain in a light to moderate way. Size has peaked larger and will mainly focus on larger tray packs. FOB pricing has firmed purely due to lighter supply. Expect this trend to carry for much of February and March, as the Chilean drought situation has affected mid to late season volume. White peaches have remained extremely limited and are expected to stay that way for the balance of the season, with only occasional spots of better volume.
Nectarines – Yellow nectarine volume has been good over the last two weeks and allowed retailers to promote yellow nectarine. Quality and edibility is high compared to other stone fruit items. Good arrivals have continued, but expect volume to back off slightly again mainly due to drought situations. Continue to carry yellow nectarine for the next 5 – 6 weeks. White nectarines have been seeing a very large gap last week with no arrivals. Harvest will start increasing slightly and allow for some white nectarine arrivals in late February, but just in spot market volume.
Plums – black plums have carried the plum arrivals for the last week, but varieties have switched and this week will see very limited volume of black plum and increasing supplies of Larry Ann red plum to carry into March. Be careful on black plums through the gap, with the focus now only being on red.
Clementines – Volume will continue on the California clementine crop, with good supplies expected to carry into April / May. Quality has been average, with some isolated spots of issues. But still strong enough to carry for a normal season. Continue to promote. Recent cold temperatures look to have slightly glanced the crop and should not have drastic effects on quality or volume.
Navel Orange – the navel crop is rolling on steadily, with good supplies of 72’s and larger. The slower movement on the spot market, as well as obvious issues exporting to China has created a good availability of supplies. Now is the time to promote, especially on larger sized fruit. The recent cold snap will only do a small amount of damage and not greatly affect the quality of the crop. Push now through early June.