Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report January 29 to Febuary 04
The extremely short red grape market will continue, with imports falling considerably short of demand. 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. 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 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 when San Felipe growing region hits its strides.
The green grape market will remain just as tight, with Peru finishing very quickly. 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. Typically, Chilean and Peruvian green continue joint arrivals for 3 – 4 weeks, but that will not happen this season. 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 early March. Like reds, only a 4 – 5 week window for any type of better volume to sustain ad promotions.
Some light supply of black seedless will be available in the U.S. simply due to lower retail demand. 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.
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
We are reaching the tail end of the import cherry crop. Air flight from Chile and Argentina will mostly finish this week, with Argentina growers aiming for another 7 days before pulling the plug on air flights. 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 1st week of February just to avoid a sudden decrease / finish on arrivals.
Yellow peach will remain limited and not truly off the ground on import arrivals from Chile. 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 2nd – 3rd week of February when we see better harvest volume varieties arrive.
Plums / Pluots
Limited start on black plums and expected to stay that way. No true volume yet, just a few limited early varieties in tray pack. Red Plums and Pluots will follow closely behind as we see upcoming harvest and arrivals by the 2nd week of February. Overall, the plum crop looks promotable from late February through April this season.
Yellow nectarine have started, but continue to see gaps between vessels as demand remains strong. Some light arrivals have hit off the last two West vessels, mostly 52/56 ct trays with a few larger / smaller. Don’t promote until vessel volume increases in 2nd 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. March should be the focus.
This last week saw four days of rain, keeping crews out of the field and focused on bin-back packing in the warehouses. 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.
The CA navel crop remains strong, so far avoiding any widespread freezes. 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 due to rain levels forcing size into the fruit.
Harvest continues on California fruit as D1 starts to hit its stride and volume picks up. 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.
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