Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report January 01 to January 07
Imported red grapes will remain extremely tight this week, as retailers are in full transition across the US. The demand increasing will put additional strain on light container arrivals. The same situation is expected on both Coasts, with importers 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. First Chilean break bulk to the West Coast is around 1/11 release and should alleviate a little pressure until momentum builds.
All business across the US has transitioned into imports, as limited arrivals have kept the market tight and look to continue to strengthen. 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, with limited container arrivals or transfers from East to West. Retail will push the need to switch into imports quickly and demand good volume to cover pulls. Light supplies on the West expect to keep supplies tight and FOB’s strong moving into January before the first Chilean vessel on January 11th. Expect a tight 10 – 14 days on green until the Chilean season officially kicks off with the first vessel.
Good supplies of both Sweet Favor and Melody bringing on some early volume from Peru. As there are supplies currently available early, expect a little gap in availability between Peru finish and Chile start on volume. But for now… decent supplies are on both Coast to fill mixer volume. Continue to mix black seedless in with the other colors.
Peruvian red globes will remain available, but start to tighten up slightly as we see the transition between growing regions in Peru start to take hold. Expect a small gap on arrivals that will affect some availability. FOB pricing will be firm to meet demand, but supplies will be available to fill the demand. Peru will continue to arrive with fruit for 6 – 7 weeks.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Another week of light cherry supplies in the US, as China and Asia continue to drive all the demand at top dollar above the US market. Air flights from Chile will be finishing and will remain very limited from Argentina. The US will continue to be a secondary market for volume moving forward. FOB pricing remains high due to the lighter amount of air flight volume on both coasts. Expect this to remain the same as the see the first vessel arrivals. The first East Coast vessel arrival has hit right before the New Year, with the West Coast behind on 1/11. With the huge demand going into the first vessel arrivals, the market is expected to remain very tight and only promotable for a few weeks in mid-January. With an early December finish for Chile.
Limited arrivals have started on both Coasts, with fruit peaking on smaller volume fills. Limited supplies of tray packs will be available, focusing on 56’s and some larger. Supplies will be light until the first vessel arrivals on the West on January 11th. Almost time to start up and move into early Chilean tree fruit.
Plums / Pluots
Chile will start in mid to late January on first plum varieties.
Following right behind peaches, with the first East Coast containers have begun to arrive. The West will follow behind in early January on containers. Don’t promote until vessel volume in mid-January. Some limited amounts of fruit will start working through the system, until promotional volume begins in late January.
Harvest will continue on for good quality CA easy peelers. 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. Avoid large promotions outside of the three main players for CA easy peelers, as some light rain and variety gaps may slow down industry volume. The market remains in fairly good demand.
California navels remain at their peak, with size peaking 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. Some light rains this week may slow down harvest in intermittent periods.
Lemon volume will continue to build in the Central Valley, as long as CA can continue to remain relatively dry. Expect the highest demand being on 115’s, 140’s and 165’s. Demand continues to keep FOB pricing relatively strong and moving at a steady pace. Quality and size will peak moving into January and allow for better stable supplies moving into 2024. Avoidance on freeze or long stretches of rain will be key for the Central CA crop.
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