Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report December 5 to December 11
The CA red grape crop is at the finish line. Field harvest is done, now it is down to packed inventory and storage totes to be packed in-house. Due to the rains and heat damage, storage tote volume is significantly lowered then desired for packing in December. Availability should last for another 10 – 14 days at the most, before coming up short. Red seedless volume from Peru and Chile is not expected in shippable volume until January, so there should be some shortage of supply and good demand through late December. Expect limited import options, causing CA to try to stretch as long as possible.
Greens will follow behind red seedless on the finish, but the end is in sight as well. Slightly more volume of green seedless compared to the red numbers, but still expected to come up earlier then usual. Another 2 – 3 weeks of supplies of CA fruit to the finish, before transitioning into Peruvian and Chilean imports. Some import arrivals have already begun on both coasts, allowing for a smoother transition on green seedless then red. Keep that in mind on avoiding ads in late December on reds, favoring more consistent supplies of imported greens instead. Some retailers already have transitioned into imports in the East.
Autumn Royals are on their last stretch, with another 10 – 14 days to go. Movement is slower then desired for some shippers, as it is just a mixer item compared to red and green seedless. Expect CA fruit to stretch for a few more weeks before quality falters and it is time to pull the plug. Imports from Peru and Chile are light on the front end and don’t gain volume momentum until mid-January. Continue to stretch CA as long as possible before the gap.
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
Now is go time. Arrivals to the West have been lighter to the East, but only due to air flight space. The volume will continue to hit on both coasts and cause FOB pricing to adjust as volume builds. Expect good air flight arrivals to continue for the next 3 – 4 weeks until we get close to the first container fruit arrivals. Containers are planned for the East in mid-December and the West during the first week of January. Even with decreasing FOBs on air fruit, the real aggressive time period to run hot promotions will be early January through mid-February with vessel fruit.
Peach / Nectarine
Only a very small amount of early fruit has arrived on 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 last week will slow harvest, but expect volume to pick right back up once the rows are dried out.
Rain last week for 3 – 4 days slowed down harvest. Field picking was stopped, but growers continued to pack with fruit already off the tree. The sizing structure has picked up slightly and will continue due to cooler nights, better-sized varieties, and some additional increases due to the recent moisture. Now is the time to promote, once growers get back into the field strong by the end of the week.
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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