Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report June 20 to June 26
The red seedless crop is plugging away in both Coachella and Mexico for the next two-three weeks up to crop finish. Caborca is packing away with a combination of Flames, as well as newer varieties like Passion Fire and Sweet Celebration in the mix. Coachella has remained Flame seedless, but will see some scratching of new variety fruit by the end of the week. Growers are still struggling to move red seedless that are undersized and do not meet retail specs… but in general, the market has remained firmer on newer variety fruit with good quality. Heat in both regions may slow things down slightly. Central CA is right around the corner, with the first scratching of harvest expected in the southern San Joaquin Valley by mid-next week.
Green seedless have been strengthening in both growing regions as we near the back end of the harvest for Mexico and Coachella. Early Sweet and Sugraone volume are slowing down, with new varieties like Sweet Globe ready to pick up the harvest volume. Crop estimates look to be off in Mexico and the crop will finish much lighter then expected. With that in mind, FOB’s continue to firm on green seedless, especially due to the fact that Central CA will not start until July 11th. Expect availability from Mexico and Coachella, but firming pricing to help meet demand and fill the gap up until CA starts.
Coachella remains light on volume, but good supplies of fruit are crossing in Mexico in both Summer Royal and Unknown variety black seedless. This has kept supplies ample and available for the next loading periods. Expect FOB’s to remain stable to keep pushing out volume and continue for 2 – 3 weeks. Quality will be the concern, simply due to the heat in Mexico. But overall, volume will meet demand and continue up to Central CA harvest.
Still sucking wind. Growers were supposed to start in Mexico this week, but high temps have stopped maturity and color. The start of harvest has been pushed back to at least the end of the week… with the risk of crop failure if the color doesn’t arrive soon.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Continue pushing on yellow peach, as size structure has moved into 48/50 ct trays and are much more limited on smaller fruit coming out of the field. Sierra Blaze will be the main variety on yellow peach. The southern US is only packing moderate volumes of East Coast peach, so this has kept movement and FOB’s on CA harvest sporty so far this season. Expect this to remain true. White Rose will make up the white peach variety.
Similar to yellow peach, size structure is moving up on yellow nectarine. Less 64’s and more 56’s and 48’s coming out of the field. Honey Blaze yellow and Kay Pear white will make up the bulk of the variety mix. FOB’s higher then typical for this time of the season, mainly due to increased farming inputs and good demand. Stay the course and continue to promote, just be aware it will need to be at a higher retail.
Back end of the apricot crop is upon us. Good volume currently on the last of the Roboda variety, before growers move into Patterson variety over the next 7 – 10 days to finish out the season. Expect supplies to carry for 2 – 3 weeks, then be done by mid-July. Overall, a very lackluster crop due to freeze damage affecting availability on the front end.
Plums / Pluots
Black Splendor are tailing off and being replaced with Black Amber and Black Scarlett. Red plums will transition into Flavor Jewel and Crimson Star. Pluots are just kicking off on getting multiple color varieties going. Overall, crop size was affected by the freeze. Expect FOB’s to remain really high this season compared to historical averages. There will be supplies, but it will be pricey and the crop MAY be light on the back end in September / October.
Remaining very limited for the time being. Peruvian and Uruguayan volume to both coasts has been very light. No true volume is hitting either coast. Chile is very light at the start, harvest has started in volume harvest, but total crop volume will be off 40 – 50% this season. Expect the next 3 – 4 weeks to remain demand-exceeds inbound supply, with the West struggling the most. FOB’s will remain high, at least until mid to late July.
First orange harvest is still a way off. Chilean and Australian volume to the West Coast is not expected to start until July. CA harvest will need to stretch as long as possible 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. First arrivals will be limited to meet demand. Harvest has been very light at the start in Chile, but is expected to start increasing over the next 2 – 3 weeks with transit time then over the top to the U.S.
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 afloat. Finish with CA and expect and July transition into imports.
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