Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report June 13 to June 19
Volume continues on red seedless grapes as Mexico continues to harvest Flame seedless in Caborca, while also starting premium varieties like Sweet Celebration and PassionFire. This will allow for continued volume stretching for the next three weeks at promotable levels. Mexico will bring the most volume, as Coachella has become a very small niche growing region in volume. Quality will remain the main focus, with some fruit crossing into the US not meeting retail specs. This will create a split market of weak fruit and premium new variety fruit. Central CA will start at the end of the month, so there is a small runway for the promotion of both Mexico and Coachella.
Green seedless is seeing good movement overall and this has helped both growing regions stay stronger on green pricing due to availability. Sugraone will be the main variety picking, as Early Sweet have started to transition and Sweet Globe have yet to kick off in volume. Green seedless have the ability to stay stable or possibly firm over the next few weeks due to USDA programs wiping out Coachella and Mexico crossing enough to cover demand, but not building inventory. Continue to promote green. Central CA is scheduled for a 2nd week of July start.
Coachella is light on volume, but Mexico is brining the fire. Plenty of supplies of Summer Royal are crossing the boarder in the US, but we may see a tidal wave that ends very quickly if growers pick through volume faster then expected. Unknown variety have yet to pick in volume, with some Autumn Royal behind it. Continue to push on black seedless leading up to the start of Central CA.
Chile is done, especially on quality. Mexico is close, but still at least 1 – 2 weeks from starting. Expect a continued gap until the end of June to start mixing in.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Peach volume is off to the races, both whites and yellows. Steady supplies are expected through the rest of the season and current harvest has moved into a 56 ct peak or larger, with the decline of smaller value fruit on the horizon. Now is the time to start running stone fruit promotions to maximize summer sale potentials. With harvest volume considered, FOB pricing will still remain much higher then previous averages as growing costs have greatly increased.
We are in the heart of the Bright varieties that will cary through most of June. White nectarine volume will come on, as well, and start to pick up the slack seen there on early season harvests. Size structure is seeing less 64 ct peak and more 56’s and larger starting to come off the pack line. Quality has been rangy at the start, mainly due to hail damage dealt in March and April. Expect FOB’s to continue to trend higher then peaches for the entire season.
Apricot availability is finally here and will be finished before we notice. Only another 2 weeks left in real crop volume. Then there will be the late season specialty varieties marketed by a few growers. Expect the Patterson variety to be the last volume of the season, finishing over the next 10 – 14 days. Last opportunities to promote for the season, before Washington comes into harvest.
Plums / Pluots
Black Splendor variety continue to pack, peaking on 50’s and smaller, with only a small amount of larger. Volume is still on the horizon by late-June, so expect supplies to be here shortly. This will bring the very high FOB pricing down. Pluots have started in a very light way, but will truly kick off by the end of this week. Mid-June / July / August / September are typically your biggest volume months for plum harvest, so we have a little time before we are really off to the races. FOB’s will remain very high at the start due to limited harvest, but expected to drop leading into mid-June. Expect a lighter crop due to hail damage on some varieties.
Still very limited at the start. Only a small amount of Moroccan, Peruvian and Uruguayan here at the start. Chile is extremely limited and not a factor yet. Expect Peruvian arrivals to slowly start picking up volume, but not enough to fill the pipeline for at least another 3 – 4 weeks. The market will remain extremely tight as CA finishes and FOB’s will remain at a high level until at least mid-July. Chile is still assessing the damage of the most recent freeze and that crop is expected to be at least 40% off this season.
First orange harvest is still a way off. Chilean and Australian volume to the West Coast is not expect to start until July. CA harvest will need to stretch another 1 to 1 ½ months to help bridge the gap. Total orange volume is down 13%, so expect slightly higher FOB’s there. This crop volume may drop further if there is any significant damage from the most recent freeze.
CA is still going strong, so the first lemon arrivals from Chile, Argentina and Uruguay are not expected to start hitting in volume until July. This will give the CA crop time to clean up and create a better market for imports. Even with the new countries shipping to the US, the Chilean volume will be down 10% so that may help keep the market more afloat. Finish with CA and expect and July transition into imports.
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