Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report July 31 to August 6
Continue to push on the start of the California red seedless crop, as Flame variety volume has been good. But a small gap is on the horizon, before new varieties like Krissy and Sweet Celebration start in mid-August. Quality has been strong on the Flame Seedless here at the start, but the recent heat wave will remain cause for concern all season. Most day temps over 110+ has led to shorter harvest days and some concerns of crop heat damage, especially on later season varieties. Now is the time to move over and begin pushing good quality fruit on ads in August through December.
Central CA will continue to take the stage, with peak volume on Sugraone, Ivory and Valley Pearl allowing for great variety mix. Size is fantastic this season, but the heat waves have shown some damage at field level. Crews will have to work hard to keep packs clean all year. FOB pricing will continue to adjust to reach an equilibrium point for promotional pricing. Now is a good promotional window based on quality and varietal mix keeping strong fruit on line for most of August promotion. Later season varieties will stay on point for harvest dates and crop volume, accounting for small amount of heat damage loss that will be dropped in the fields.
Black seedless remains a one trick pony, with Summer Royal being the focus. Modest volume has started, with new fields ready to come online. Proprietary varieties like Melody and Adora are around the corner. Overall crop volume is good and will allow solid promotions throughout the season.
Red globe volume has finished light out of Mexico, with only a small amount left to go to try to fill the pipeline. Everyone looks to limp along until Central CA can start harvest. Expect another 7 – 10 days before the first Central CA fruit starts. Avoid any promotions until late August.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Summer Flame and Sweet Dream still dominate the yellow peach category, with July Snow and Summersweet the focus on white Peach. Overall, demand is still high and supplies relatively tight… but it remains somewhat looser and more available then the extremely short availability on the front end. With more local crop peach coming on in each state, that should also help slowdown the demand for CA fruit. FOB’s will remain firm and much higher than the historical averages. Continue to carry, but we careful on volume for large ad pulls. Volume fill tighter then very big trays.
Spring Brite and Honey Royale will make up the yellow nectarine this week in best volume, with other varieties of conventional and sub-acid harvesting as well. White nectarines will transition into Majestic Pearl. Volume on harvest has hit its peak but will continue to throw solid numbers. Continue to promote on yellow nectarine, as FOB’s will stay more aggressive than its peach counterparts. The market looks to possibly tighten in mid-August as we start to see some of the later season varieties as we inch towards a September finish.
Plums / Pluots
Plum and pluot (plumcot) volume is here. Hiromi and Fortune will make up the red plum volume, while Owen T will dominate on the black. There are two many pluot varieties to count of all mixes of colors, but we are also getting close to the king of Pluot varieties, the Dapple Dandy, which is getting close to harvest. Continue to promote all plums and pluots as they look to continue with a strong crop set and be more promotable in volume then other tree fruit.
The Clem market will see a shift as we approach a small slowdown between varietal transitions as tidal wave of early varieties from Chile and Peru have passed. The next couple weeks will likely see continued supplies, but a small gap starting to be felt between variety harvests. The impact should be small and retain should remain focused on continuing to carry. Crop volume on the back end of Chile will likely be decreased due to heavy rain and weather, so now if the time to focus on promotions. Expect quality to slowly pick up as we move into stronger varieties of clementines.
The import navel market has been extremely tight in mid-July as California finished and retail all jumped onto import at once. That is turning quickly, as some increasing supply has started to arrive to both US coasts, mostly peaking on 56’s – 88’s. This is welcome relief and will allow to get fruit into the system. Still expect small gaps in between vessels if there are boat delays. FOB pricing will remain relatively stable for the time being, then slowly decrease moving into mid to late August.
Imported lemons remain very firm, with solid demand and a pretty open pipeline needing to be filled. With CA being mostly out of the way due to quality, FOB pricing has remained high. Quality is strong from both Chile and Argentina at season start, with the largest volumes of the season yet to come. Start to mix in imports, but be wary of demand creating a tight market for the time being. This will hopefully loosen up by mid-August once Chile builds on volume.
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