Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report August 7 to August 13
Central CA will continue to push on red seedless, but face a small gap with some growers between the end of Flame seedless and the start of either Krissy or Scarlet Royal. Now that Flames are out of the way and Mexico has cleaned up, expect FOBs to remain firmer then at the start due to demand and proprietary growing costs. Quality will be strong and remain that way. Field issues are present with heat damage, but the premium growers will work to separate out the issues and pack a nice box. Weaker fruit will be at a value, but show significant issues creating a split quality market. Start pushing heavy in late August through the end of November.
Green will come on slightly stronger then red, with Valley Pearl, Ivory and Sugraone all harvesting currently. Final pack quality is good, but there is heat loss and damage in the field. Size and condition on good fields are very strong. With so many proprietary varieties picking at the same time, now is the time to focus on green seedless over red for a few weeks. Expect heavy volume to carry for the next 3 – 4 weeks until we move into later season fruit. Promote, promote, promote!
Black seedless volume has finally picked up, with Summer Royal spurring most of the volume harvesting. Some lower volume proprietary varieties will continue as an alternative in light volume. Expect harvest to remain steady and move in Autumn Royal once we hit early September. Continue to focus on black seedless as a mixer item for the grape category. Snazzle branded bags look sharp to bring some excitement to a dull category.
Mexico is virtually done on red globes. Retailers will have to wait patiently for California to start, but most fields look like they should be close to harvest by the end of the week. Volume will be light this season, mostly due to heat damage loss and more pull ours of producing acreages. FOB’s will remain high all season due to demand.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Summer Flame and Zee Lady will bring the most volume on the yellow peach category. White peach is extremely tight as growers wait to start harvest of SummerSweet. Overall, demand is still high and supplies relatively tight… but yellow remain somewhat looser and more available then the extremely short availability on the front end. Local peach crops have begun in each state and will slightly affect CA demand. Continue to carry, but we careful on volume for large ad pulls. Volume fill tighter then very big trays.
Grand Brite, Honey Brite and Summer Flare will make up the yellow nectarine this week in best volume, with other varieties of conventional and sub-acid harvesting as well. White nectarines will continue with Majestic Pearl. Volume has started to slow down as we reach the tail end of the crop, with only another 4 – 5 weeks to go. And heat damage has begun to drop packouts. The market looks to possibly tighten in mid-August as we start to see some of the later season varieties as we inch towards a September finish.
Plums / Pluots
Plum and pluot (plumcot) volume continues through peak varieties. Hiromi, Honey Punch and Fortune will make up the red plum volume, while Owen T will dominate on the black. There are two many pluot varieties to count of all mixes of colors, but Dapple Dandy will rule them all on volume. Continue to promote all plums and pluots as they look to continue with a strong crop set and be more promotable in volume then other tree fruit.
The Clem market will see a shift as we approach a small slowdown between varietal transitions as tidal wave of early varieties from Chile and Peru have passed. The next couple weeks will likely see continued supplies, but a small gap starting to be felt between variety harvests. The first of the early W Murrcott variety will arrive to the West. The impact should be small and retain should remain focused on continuing to carry. Crop volume on the back end of Chile will likely be decreased due to heavy rain and weather, so now if the time to focus on promotions. Expect quality to slowly pick up as we move into stronger varieties of clementines.
The focus has been moved onto the import navel orange crop. The import navel market has been extremely tight in mid-July as California finished and retail all jumped onto import at once. That is turning quickly, as some increasing supply has started to arrive to both US coasts, mostly peaking on 56’s – 88’s. This is welcome relief and will allow to get fruit into the system. Still expect small gaps in between vessels if there are boat delays. FOB pricing will remain relatively stable for the time being as demand remains strong even with increasing arrivals.
Imported lemons remain very firm, with solid demand and a pretty open pipeline needing to be filled. With CA being mostly out of the way due to quality, FOB pricing has remained much higher than previous seasons. Argentina will be on the tail end of their harvest and focus will move to Chile to carry the most volume for the next few months. Be wary of demand creating a tight market for the time being. This will hopefully loosen up by mid-August once Chile builds on volume.
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