Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report August 8 to August 14
This week will see the last of the Flame seedless crop finishing harvest for the season. This will lead right into the start of Magenta, Scarlet Royal, and Krissy varieties start. Volume has been lighter in harvest then green seedless, keeping availability slightly tighter on reds. This will alleviate and allow for good promotional opportunities going into the end of the month. Stay the course, as size and quality are going to get fired up for the remainder of the season.
Green seedless continues to hit it strides, as Ivory, Sweet Globe, and Great Green continue to harvest. Timpson will begin as well. The multiple varieties harvesting at the same time will bring a lot of volume to the domestic market and allow retailers to promote at aggressive FOB’s. Weaker smaller fruit will be cheap, but premium fruit with good quality will remain at a premium for high-end domestic or export packs.
Summer Royal and Midnight Beauty will remain the main varieties of black seedless. Quality will remain strong and continue to allow for a good item to mix in along with the red and green. We are still about a month away from Autumn Royals starting, but no gap is expected and should carry steadily through.
Mexico is finishing for the season, just in time for the Central CA start. Small volume has begun for the season but better volume will follow up by the end of the month. Expect FOB pricing to stay firmer then seedless varieties all season, due to lighter crop volume in acreage.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Rains this week will help speed up the tail end of the yellow peach crop. We are on the back end of the crop, with the August varieties ahead stretching into September. Still, good supplies will continue to harvest for another few months, but demand will stay high as local crops on the East are short / finishing. Continue to promote, peaking on very large-sized trays.
August Bright yellow and August Pearl white will still be the biggest volumes harvesting over the next week. Have reached the last push on nectarine for the season, as the biggest August volume is already hitting. Rains last week MAY cause some staining or crop loss, but not enough for major concern. Growers will push to get the crop finished over the next 4 – 5 weeks. Expect an early to mid-September finish for the crop.
Plums / Pluots
The plum crop will continue to harvest through the back half of the season. Crop volume is off slightly due to set, but still volume left to come. Expect the red and black crop to continue through September, into mid-October pending movement. FOB pricing will remain very high due to crop volume. Pluots will continue on strong and continue to peak on variety availability creating a good mix for retail and color breaks.
Even considering a weaker market due to some big box retailers scaling back plans on Peruvian needs, the future of the easy peeler import crop looks to be short lived in availability. So far, Chile is trending 35% lower then last years import volume same time period. This is a huge hit on volume to both Coasts. Once the Peruvian and Uruguayan crop moves through the system over the next 3 – 4 weeks, expect to see a drastically short market on the back end of the import season. Avoid promotions in September and October, as the Chilean freeze greatly affected the Murcott crop that arrives during that time period. The industry could go from available supplies right now to a drastic demand-exceeds supply time period in September and October. I would also anticipate a gap between end of Chile and start of California, leaving retailers to have to take Californian Satsuma variety to avoid gapping longer.
The orange crop has finally started to arrive from Chile, but with a combination of light volume up to this point and crop volume down roughly 10%, demand remains extremely high. The increasing arrivals of navel should bring some slight relief. Arrivals will peak on late August / early September and help to bring costs down slightly, but still nowhere near historical averages. Quality will peak on 56’s and 48’s moving forward. Avoid large promos, but availability will be there for the next couple months to fill the hole.
Lemons may shape up to be one of the tightest crops of all. Chile accounts for a majority of the lemon imports into the US, with Argentina and Uruguay bringing smaller volume. Chile is currently trending DOWN 29% over 2021 total volumes. And this number will likely increase moving into September as the freeze has already stopped some farms for the season, with a record early finish to harvest. With moderate supplies currently, the availability is expected to switch quickly and limit arrivals on the back end of the crop. Expect imports to finish early and have retailers pushing to get new crop volume out of CA as soon as possible.
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