Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report May 2 to May 8
The red seedless grape crop will finish arriving this week from Chile, but good supplies will carry on inventory into the middle to 3rd week of May. FOB’s will remain at a promotable level to keep pushing fruit through the system. Variety mix will remain Allison, Timco, Scarlotta and Sweet Celeb at the finish. Mexico is starting late this season, with volume not expected until the end of May, so this will give plenty of time for the Chilean crop to finish up.
The last of the storage Chilean grape crop has arrived. Importers will continue to move at a good pace and ship storage lots for the next 10 – 14 days. Thompson and Autumn Crisp will make up the end of season volume. The quality looks to remain strong to the finish due to good weather leading up to harvest. Mexico has begun shipping green seedless from Jalisco harvests, but pricing and quality have limited traction. Most retail will stay Chilean until the wheels fall off and transition into fresh Mexico fruit around 5/11 – 5/16.
The black seedless crop is virtually done for the season. The last of the Autumn Royal have arrived on the West Coast, with decent demand to help clean up supplies. Expect another week of light availability, then a quick finish to the season. Mexico will start harvesting their black seedless the week of 5/16 and be off to the races on Summer Royal. Expect a small gap, but then right back into supplies.
Red globes stay limited on both coasts, with Peru being done and only a small amount trickling in from Chile. Good demand has kept availability tight. FOB’s remain higher then their seedless counterpart. Expect this to remain the same for all of May, as Mexico will not start its first red globe harvests until mid-June.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Arvin and Kettlemen have begun the CA peach crop last week, but only in a very limited way. Size is small and availability is limited as we start to see more fields coming into production. Expect FOB pricing to remain extremely high this season due to the increased cost of production. Central CA will start harvest around May 16th and that will increase volume and slowly bleed down the FOB pricing. Hold tight for now, as it is just starting to get to the point to jump in for first arrivals. White peaches have begun harvest in a light way, as well, with the Snow Angel variety.
Similar to peach crop, only a small amount of harvest has begun for the season, peaking on smaller fruit at the start. Arvin will bring the earliest fruit, peaking on 64 size trays with some 56’s. Most of the fruit will end up in small volume fill. White nectarines are a way off from beginning of harvest. Expect small nectarines to remain the status quo for the next few weeks, until Zee Fire harvest begins in Central CA and volume picks up. FOB will remain higher then peach due to demand and keep promotable movement limited.
Apricots are off to the races. Early varieties like Earlicot have begun harvest in multiple regions, but Patterson will bring on the most volume as they have just begun harvest. Expect increased volume coming this week, peaking on 80 series 2 layers, with some three-layer availability. FOB pricing will remain high but start jumping down to promotable levels. Size will increase greatly by mid-May varieties and allow for good promotions.
Plums / Pluots
The plum crop will stay imports for now, with another 3 – 4 weeks of Chilean fruit left to ship on both colors. The first CA plums and pluots of the season are not expected until the end of May, with promotions in June and July.
The cherry crop is off to the races in Central CA. As in, a three-legged sac race to an early finish line. The crop estimate is around 4.5 – 5 million, less then half of a typical CA crop. Large retailers have already set extremely high price levels for the month of May. Also, recent rains and hail storms last weekend continued to cause more damage. Sizes are available and expected to increase in harvest this week, but it is projected to show fruit on the front end of the crop and more limited on the back end with Bings. Plan for limited availability, with extremely high FOB’s and trucks sitting waiting for fruit all crop. The Washington crop will be a welcome relief to a tough CA harvest.
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