Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report December 18 to December 24
The last of the California red seedless crop is finishing this week, with limited arrival ability due to quality. The transition into import fruit will be full steam ahead, as retail look to all move into new crop fruit for quality reasons. Supplies will remain very limited on red seedless from Peru, as demand on the East and West Coast is cleaning up light container arrivals before they even land. Expect this to remain a tight market with high FOB’s until Chilean brings volume on with vessels in late January. Avoid promoting red seedless until import volume increases, but the only option is to make the switch into an already limited crop.
Same thing with green seedless. The CA Autumn King crop has finished quickly, with quality concerns and not stretching nearly as long as a good growing condition season. Supplies of Sweet Globe, Ivory and Sugraone have been arriving to the East Coast regularly. The West Coast has been slower to see arrival volume, but it will slowly increase. Retail will push the need to switch into imports quickly and demand good volume for movement. Light supplies on the West expect to keep supplies light and FOB’s strong moving into January before the first Chilean vessel on January 11th.
CA black seedless are done for the season. Only a very small amount of Peruvian fruit has arrived to either coast and it is expected to remain sporadic on arrivals for at least 3 – 4 weeks. There will continue to be gaps between arrivals and very limited supplies. Avoid promoting black seedless until supplies normalize once harvest starts in Chile. Day-to-day availability at best.
Peruvian red globes are already available for sale on the East and will soon transition into West availability. FOB pricing will be firm to meet demand.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Air flight arrivals to the US remain lackluster at best. China and Asia continue to drive all the demand for both Argentinian and Chilean fruit, with exports to those countries being a high priority due to demand and high pricing. The US will continue to be a secondary market for both qualities, but especially volume. FOB pricing remains high due to the lighter amount of air flight volume on both coasts. Expect this to remain the same for the next 7 – 10 days. The first Chilean break bulk cherries are due on 12/28, with the West Coast behind on 1/11. This will be the best promotional volume for the season, with a 4 – 5 week promotional window before boat fruit finishes.
Light arrivals have started on both coasts, with fruit peaking on smaller volume fills. Limited supplies of tray packs will be available, focusing on 56s and some larger. Supplies will be light until the first vessel arrivals in 2 – 3 weeks. Almost time to start up.
Plums / Pluots
Chile will start in mid to late January on first plum varieties.
Following right behind peaches, with another 7 – 10 days before first East Coast containers. West will follow behind in late December. Don’t promote until vessel volume in mid-January.
CA is fully underway, with the three largest shippers in full steam. Harvest is finally moving into stronger clem varieties after moving through weaker earlier fruit. Harvest volume is slightly light in spots and lower then expected due to some quality conditions being seen on certain varieties. Nonetheless, promotions opportunities in Q1 2024 will be in full swing and ready to drive additional sales.
California is rolling on the navel harvest, starting to peak on 48’s and 56’s. Plenty of smaller sized fruit is still expected to continue coming out of the field as well. Natural color has come on and gassing is no longer needed. Continue to focus on navel promotions now through May. Keep focused on good quality fruit as weather is coming in to a prime period for ripening, if growers can avoid freeze.
D1 lemons are underway, as harvest moves out the desert to Central CA. Expect the highest demand being on 115’s, 140’s and 165’s. Transition into Central CA will be fast to fill the pipeline, but demand continues to keep FOB pricing extremely high compared to historical averages simply due to lighter volume. Quality and size will peak moving into January and allow for better stable supplies moving into 2024.
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