Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report March 20 to March 26
Red seedless will be the best push item from Chile for the balance of the season. As Peru winds down on the last of their Allison and Sweet Celebration, good volume continues from Chile with mostly the same varieties and adding Timco into the mix. Even with a projected short tail end to the harvest, good supplies of red seedless remain to arrive on both coasts. Continue to promote, as FOB’s are currently at what looks to be their lowest level. The market should remain steady over the next 3 – 4 weeks… then slowly firm as arrival volume stops post-marketing order. Reds will be the best category item to focus on. Expect a small gap between South America finishing in late April / early May and the start of Mexico in mid-May.
Even with a fair amount of green seedless here in the U.S., especially in the East, the market is poised to flip pretty quickly. Good supplies are currently available in a depressed FOB market, but quality is a huge factor. A lot of fruit is arriving with quality condition concerns from Chile. This is creating a two-tier market of average fruit and then the fruit that is very good for retail business. Expect this to continue the balance of the season. If you want green seedless that will make the door consistently, it will be at a price. Once conventional fruit cleans up over the next 10 – 14 days, the storage of green seedless crop will demand a premium. The crop will be extremely light at the finish and this will only put additional demands on the back end of the storage crop.
Volume on black seedless will continue into April. Midnight Beauty and Sweet Favor will allow for increasing arrival volume. This next week will see the best arrival volume expected for the season. Keep mixing in black seedless volume for the color break. Quality has been strong on new varieties that replaced the old guard. Now is the time to focus on black seedless.
Peru is mostly done on the red globe for the season. Chile has begun to arrive in a limited way, but the momentary gap on arrivals has helped push the market back up slightly. Continue to carry, but expect a few tighter weeks and increasing FOBs. The red globe market will likely come up short as well, especially in late April.
Tree Fruit – Imports
The last two weeks of March will signal the finish of the imported peach crop. Only a small trickle will remain for April. The arrival volume has been lighter than nectarine, hence the additional pressure put on the peach. Available for mixer volume currently, then a quick finish in April as the last varieties arrive. White peaches remain non-existent outside of limited arrivals. Avoid white peaches for the remainder of the season. One last push before the import crop finishes. With the wet and cool weather seen through the California winter, expect a late start to this year’s tree fruit crop likely delayed by 10 – 14 days from the typical season start.
The yellow nectarine crop is nearing the finish line as well, just like the peach. Lighter volume has allowed the market to stabilize slightly. Expect another late push over the next two weeks in light volume before the crop finishes on yellow next. White nectarine continues to arrive, but in very light volume here at the finish, and expected to stay that way through the end of the season. Be wary of a quick finish at month’s end. CA crop will be delayed to an April 17th – 22nd start at the earliest.
The plum volume will continue on late-season varieties. Blake Kat and Angelino on the black plums, Happy Giant and Flavor-Fall on the red. Plum arrivals will soon surpass peach and nectarine as we reach the finish. FOB’s have come down to their lowest point of the season, but will likely firm in April once new arrivals finish for the season. Continue to promote on plum as the peach and nectarine crop finish. CA plums won’t be ready to kick off until mid-to-late May.
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