Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report December 12 to December 18
The CA red seedless crop is on its last legs this week, with a crop finish in the near future. Only a small amount of totes remain to pack for the season. With the crop end, retailers will be looking to move into importer fruit ASAP. A small amount of Peruvian Flames and Allison have begun arriving on both coasts. But arrival volume is expected to stay below demand in December and create a tight market on red grape supplies. Expect to not see true volume until Chilean fruit adds its name by mid-January on the West Coast.
Green seedless volume from CA is ending just as quickly as reds, with only a small amount of totes remaining to pack as well. This week will spell the last of the shipping weeks, before the import transition. There are slightly more supplies of Peruvian Thompson, Sugraone, and Sweet Globe that have arrived to the US, mostly in the East, but this will slowly increase as more fruit arrives. A majority of the volume of early arrivals will see good demand as retailers switch into imports. Now is the time to make the transition and move into promotable volume in January.
The last of the CA grape crop is finishing and has another 7 – 10 days. After CA finishes, there will be a noticeable gap as the first Peruvian and Chilean arrivals won’t be seen until mid-January. Plan for a small gap, but then good supplies once imports are underway.
CA fruit will struggle on the last of the red globe crop, as only small supplies remain in spots with certain growers. With limited options, now is the time to begin transitioning into imported Peruvian fruit. Supplies are light, but will continue to build as we get further into harvest.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Cherry air arrivals will continue to both coasts, with the East receiving a majority of the volume. West will continue to see air shot arrivals through all of December, whereas the East will get their first vessel fruit inbounding around December 19th. West vessel arrivals are expected on the first of January when the break bulk vessels arrive. Promote with air flight fruit, for now, then the biggest promotional window of the year will be week 3 – week 7 as the prime-time vessel arrival volume.
Peach / Nectarine
Only a very small amount of early fruit has arrived to the East Coast by air. Due to cost and slight delays in harvest maturity, air-flight fruit is expected to be very minimal as growers don’t see the value in flying smaller fruit. The first container arrivals will hit the East Coast by mid-December, but peak on small fruit like 56 ct trays and 60/72 size volume fill. The West will not see its first direct stone fruit until the first Chilean break bulk vessel around January 6th.
Similar to navels. Off to the races, size will increase. Rains this week will slow harvest, but expect volume to pick right back up once the rows are dried out.
More rain this week will continue to slow down harvest on navels purely due to not being able to pick, but good supplies remain in the system or in bin-backs to run and keep retailers in good supply. Continue to promote navels, but be weary of a few slower pack days creating some minor gaps. Size and color will continue to hit its peak.
Central Valley fruit is coming on strong. Size and color are starting to peak, seeing a fair amount of large fruit size coming off the tree. Smaller sizes are more limited and are being eaten up by food services and schools. Continue to promote all CA citrus as the volume will start to peak.
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