Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report Febuary 5 to Febuary 11
The red grape market will only get worse this week, with Peru done and Chile not hitting any harvest volume yet in the main growing regions. The red seedless grape market will be extremely tight for almost all of February, until Chile starts true harvest volume in the San Felipe region. Chile will struggle to gain momentum for the time being. Avoid ad promotions entirely and pull any plans for promotion in February. Chilean volume will trickle in slowly on each vessel. Arrivals are not expected to fill the pipeline until March and will only allow for a small window of promotion in March and part of April.
Green seedless will remain tight as well, but in slightly better supply then red. Chile has begun some early volume from Atacama growing region like Sugraone, Thompson and Ivory. The San Felipe region of Chile is still another 2 – 3 weeks away from harvest arrivals to the US. Typically, Chilean and Peruvian green continue joint arrivals for 3 – 4 weeks, but that will not happen this season. Green seedless will remain light in volume all of February at record FOB pricing. National retailers have firmed up all program pricing to push the market to high levels to ensure supply of product. Avoid ad promotions until early March. Like reds, only a 4 – 5 week window for any type of better volume to sustain ad promotions.
Light supplies of black seedless remain arriving to the US. The last of the Peruvian arrivals will hit, as Chile just starts harvest. Expect some light supplies of black seedless to carry through this week, but once Peru arrivals clean up there could be another gap before Chile really kicks in. Lighter demand keeps fruit in the pipeline longer then the red and green seedless varieties.
Non-existent. Peru finished way way early and light. They also sent larger volume to Asia, leaving the U.S. as an afterthought. Demand on both East and West Coast has made it so Red Globe are tighter then any other color. Only a small amount of Chilean fruit has begun to arrive, but not enough to get anywhere near filling the pipeline.
Tree Fruit – Imports
We are reaching the tail end of the import cherry crop. Air flights from Argentina are finished for the season, besides the outlier grower. Vessel fruit from Chile will continue to arrive for another 7 – 10 days on both Coasts, but then finish very quickly. Quality is affected this year due to rains in Chile and that also decreased total crop volume. It will be a limp to the finish line for another few weeks. Avoid retail promotions past the 2nd week of February just to avoid a sudden decrease / finish on arrivals.
Yellow peach will remain limited at the start. Fruit has come in and moved fast, focusing on 56’s and some larger. Supplies will be non-existent between vessels so expect some gaps in availability. Be very cautious on the start due to inevitable gaps in supply. Vessel arrivals will remain light until 3rd week of February when we see better harvest volume varieties arrive. White peach will remain lighter and more inconsistent then yellow.
Plums / Pluots
Limited start on black and red plums have arrived to both coasts. No true volume yet, just a few limited early varieties in tray pack. Pluots will follow closely behind as we see upcoming harvest and arrivals by the 3nd week of February. Overall, the plum crop looks promotable from late February through April this season.
Demand on yellow nectarine remains strong here at crop start. Light arrivals have hit off the last two West vessels, mostly 48 and 56 ct trays with a few larger / smaller. Don’t promote until vessel volume increases in 3nd week of February. Some limited amounts of fruit will start working through the system, until promotional volume begins. Right now, supplies are too inconsistent to start programing large promotions. March should be the focus on both yellow and white.
Rain market this week may affect availability for a short time period. 4 or 5 days of consistent rain will keep crews out of the field. Promotions will still remain for all of 2024 will be in full swing and ready to drive additional sales. Avoid large promotions outside of the three main players for CA easy peelers, as rain and variety gaps may slow down industry volume. The market remains in fairly good demand and quality looks to remain strong even with the wet weather.
The CA navel crop remains strong, outside of the wet weather slowing down harvest. California navels remain at their peak, with size peaking on 48’s and 56’s. Smaller fruit has become extremely limited, so anything smaller than 113’s is extremely tight and 88’s is beginning to feel pressure. Continue to focus on navel promotions now through May, but mostly on larger sized fruit for the entire season due to rain levels forcing size into the fruit. Expect growers having to focus on bin backs until the weather systems clear.
Harvest continues on California fruit as D1 continues to peak. Harvest is focused on 115’s, 140’s and 165’s. Quality and size will peak moving into February and allow for better stable supplies moving into February. Avoidance of long stretches of rain will be key for the Central CA crop. Smaller sizes will start tightening up as harvest is peaking on bigger fruit due to good water supplies and rain.
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