Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report February 27 to March 3
Red seedless arrivals will continue to grow this week as we reach March / April promotion volume. Now is the time to promote in all of March and into most of April. Quality is strong on both coasts and a good volume of Allison, Sweet Celeb, Magenta, and Timco are set to arrive. The volume will peak and allow for promotable supplies for the first time this season after lighter volumes most of the year. Promote and hit good in-store builds of displays. Good fruit will still hold decent FOBs and continue to move through the system.
Green seedless are in good arrival volume to both coasts, but higher demand then reds have kept pricing slightly higher all season. Also, total crop volume is expected to come up lighter on the back end of the imported crop. Sweet Globe, Sugraone, and Thompson will make up the most volume for the remainder of the crop. Expect FOBs to hold stronger then reds solely based on movement and allow retail to focus on red grape promotion. Expect supplies through March and then move into higher-priced storage fruit in April.
The black seedless crop will finally start picking up momentum moving into March. A better harvest of Midnight Beauty and Sweet Favor will allow for increasing arrival volume. By the second week of March, the industry should be in a situation to be able to start promoting in a light way. Quality is good and will allow retailers to start mixing in the color break on grape displays.
Red globe availability has stabilized on both East and West Coasts, with Peru volume coming on fighting the vessel delays from political unrest. Expect some gaps between vessel arrivals that may slow down availability, but in general FOB pricing and availability are stable enough to continue mixing in red globe volume. Expect this to change as Peru comes to a finish over the next few weeks and we transition to Chile.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Yellow peach remains snug on the West Coast. Light supplies come in on each vessel, but then quickly gap out between vessels for most of the season. Luckily this looks to be changing for a few weeks and increasing to at least light-fill the pipeline. The arrival volume has been lighter then nectarine, hence the additional pressure put on the peach. Continue to carry peach for day-to-day sales. The volume will pick back up again slightly moving into mid-March before we reach the finish. White peaches remain non-existent outside of limited arrivals. Avoid white peaches for the remainder of the season.
Yellow nectarine looks to be flipping with yellow peach. What has been good availability on both coasts over the last month will now start slowing down on arrivals for a small gap period between varieties. Fruit will continue to arrive but in lighter volume allowing the market to stabilize slightly. Expect another late push in mid-March before crop finishes on yellow nect. White nectarine continues to arrive, but in light to moderate volume and is expected to stay that way through the end of the season.
The plum volume will continue on as the second or third item in volume on each vessel. Red plum continues to be mostly a Fortune variety, with Black Plum moving through Owen T and transitioning into later varieties. Fruit is peaking on 52 ct TP and larger, with some volume fill arrivals. We are on the later half of the season varieties, so expect a cropped finish in early April.
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