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DLJ Produce

Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report January 22 to January 29

Table Grapes

Red Seedless

We find ourselves in yet another disastrous grape market. Piura, Peru came up 30 – 40% short on their crop and Ica, Peru is virtually done on harvesting, with demand already wiping out any remaining inbounds coming. The red seedless grape market will be extremely tight for the balance of January and all of February, until Chile starts true harvest volume. Avoid ad promotions entirely and pull any plans for promotion in February. Chilean volume will trickle in slowly to start. 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

The same or possibly even worse then red seedless. Peru is finishing a month earlier then expected, coming as a shock to the industry. Chile has begun some early volume from Atacama growing region, but not enough to come close to pending demand. San Felipe region of Chile is still another 2 – 3 weeks away from harvest. Peru coming up short is going to be a disaster, as typically Chilean and Peruvian green continue together for 3 – 4 weeks to keep meeting early demand. Chile will slowly pick up steam, but green seedless will remain tight all of February at record FOB pricing. National retailers have firmed up all program pricing to push the market to extremely high levels to ensure product. Avoid ad promotions until March. Like reds, only a 4 – 5 week window for any type of better volume to sustain ad promotions.

Black Seedless

Similar to red and green with Peru finishing early, but still some light supply simply due to lower retail demand. 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.

Red Globe

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. Avoid avoid avoid. No Red Globes in the U.S. market for open sale outside of committed programs until Chile in mid-March.

Tree Fruit – Imports

Cherries

Cherries continue for a few more weeks. Combination of both air flight from Argentina and vessel from Chile both arriving. Vessel fruit will be cheaper, but quality remains difficult to make QC specs. Air flight fruit is better quality but the price is high. Expect both FOB’s to remain high the balance of the season simply due to the shorter crop affected by weather in Chile. Another 2 – 3 weeks of supplies then an extremely fast finish. Avoid any solid promotions in February. 

Peach

Limited arrivals have started on both Coasts, with fruit peaking on smaller volume fills. 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. Almost time to start up and move into early Chilean tree fruit, but be very cautious on the start due to inevitable gaps in supply. Even vessel arrivals will be light until volume builds in more productive, stronger varieties.

Plums / Pluots

Limited start on blacks plums and expected to stay that way. No true volume yet, just a few limited early varieties in tray pack. Volume will pick up in mid-February once better volume varieties being harvest in Chile.

Nectarine

very similar to yellow peach, started but expect gaps in availability between boats until true volume starts. Some light arrivals have hit off the first vessel, mostly 52/56 ct trays with a few larger / smaller. Don’t promote until vessel volume increases in early 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.

Import Citrus

Clems

Cold weather and rains looks to persist in Central CA, with some freezing temps nipping at growers. 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 some light rain and variety gaps may slow down industry volume. The market remains in fairly good demand. Quality looks to be strong, as growers work to avoid any freeze damage.

Oranges

Avoidance of freeze and rain will be the biggest effect on the navel orange crop. 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. Natural color has come on and gassing is no longer needed. Continue to focus on navel promotions now through May, but mostly on larger sized fruit for the entire season.

Lemons

Harvest continues on California fruit as D1 starts to hit its stride with natural color. 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 2024. Avoidance on freeze or 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.

DLJ Produce is home to the finest and freshest produce nationwide. Our customers depend on our produce 365 days a year coast to coast. If you want to discuss fruits, vegetables, cold storage, organic produce, or simply want to chat, give us a call today.