Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report April 10 to April 16
The red grape crop has flipped. First, the East Coast, followed by the West is feeling great pressure on an upward-moving market. Even with some quality concerns, the short crop on the back end and the lack of post-marketing order arrivals will put a strain on volume into late April. Projections show there will not be enough red seedless from Chile on the late crop to get retail business to the start of a late Mexico crop. Importers will look to quickly firm FOB pricing up fast to slow movement and bring a premium return to the field. Expect the market to get strong fast and especially on good fruit that will hold. Mexico not until at least May 15th… it will be a miracle if Chile gets that far.
The green grape crop continues to firm, even faster then red. The late season crop is extremely light as growers dug out or struggled on quality on late Thompson seedless storage fruit. The incoming volume up to the marketing order will be mostly Sweet Globe and Autumn Crisp, with only limited amounts coming in post the April 10th USDA marketing order. With a mid-May Mexico start, there is no way Chilean fruit stretches long enough due to demand. Even with an extremely high FOB expected in late April, it will only slightly slow movement and not enough to put a dent in supply. There will be a gap between end of Chile and start of Mexico.
Black seedless remain promotable for another 10 – 14 days. And continue into late April. Midnight Beauty and Sweet Favor will allow with increasing arrival volume. Continue to promoting until volume on arrivals start to fall off on arrivals post-marketing order. Keep mixing in black seedless volume for the color break. Quality has been strong on new varieties that replaced the old guard. Now is the time to focus on black seedless.
Peru is done for the season, with a shortage of red globe availability hitting very quickly. With poor growing conditions and the digging out of unprofitable acreage, the red globe crop from Chile is going to be extremely light. Expect a short demand-exceeds crop at the finish from Chile. FOB pricing has already firmed on the East and will follow on the West. Expect a sizeable gap from Chile finish to Mexico start in June.
Tree Fruit – Imports
California is late. Plenty of chill hours, but wet and cold weather during bloom significantly slowed down maturity toward harvest. Harvest won’t kick off until late April from Arvin, with first volume not until mid to late May. Bloom looks to be sporadic for some varieties. Total crop volume is still pending due to the wacky growing conditions. Expect a late start but promotable volume once going.
Chile is officially done and not soon enough on quality. Due to cold weather and rains in February and March, California’s start is significantly delayed. We would be typically close to starting this week, but even micro-climates look to be 10 – 14 days late. Expect yellow peach and white peach to not start in earnest harvest until late April from Arvin and Kettlemen City. Central CA won’t bring volume until at least mid-May. Hold promotions until June when volume and size both pick up.
Same thing as a yellow peach. Late start from CA. Zee Fire from Arvin in late May and leading to better harvest volume in mid-May from Central CA. Light promotions in mid-May but hold volume movement on both yellow and white nectarine until at least June.
Plum volume will continue for a few more weeks. Blake Kat and Angelino on the black plums, Happy Giant and Flavor Fall on the red. Pricing will likely firm in mid-April once new arrivals finish for the season. Continue to promote on plum as the peach and nectarine crop finish. CA plums won’t be ready to kick off until mid-to-late May.
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