Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report May 3 to May 9
The last import vessels for the season and importers hopes are high that quality is good enough to stretch into May sales and bridge the gap with Mexico at higher FOB’s. Good availability will remain currently at a marketable FOB, but stronger lots with less quality concerns are aimed to be held to stretch into mid-May. Considering most fruit is post-rain, shelf life will be short and looked to move through the system in a quick manner, putting even greater emphasis on stronger lots being held as long as possible. Promote for the time being, but expect FOB’s to raise quickly in May to match decreasing supplies and a late Mexico start.
Green seedless on imports, outside of a few ultra premium storage lots, are done for the season. The shortened crop, due to January rains, has put a damper on the end of the season. Arrivals over the last 3 weeks have been a fraction of what the West and East Coast typically receive going into season end. Expect the much anticipated gap to kick in between Chile and Mexico, with Mexico late to start harvest. This will likely create an empty pipeline in the industry for 2 – 3 weeks until Mexico starts in volume.
supplies are currently available, with good quality to hold. This will help stretch the crop slightly longer then anticipated, but availability will wind down over the next 10 – 14 days. Continue to promote in the time being, but expect a quick finish by mid-May and then waiting for Mexico to start at the end of May.
Red globe availability has been tightening over the last couple weeks, with Peru finishing and Chile having a lighter crop due to rains. This has kept availability in line and FOB’s higher then typical for the red globe market. Limited supplies will stretch over the next 10 – 14 days and then come to an early finish. Mexico is not projected to start until mid-June, so there will be a gap on availability.
Tree Fruit Central CA
Peaches/ Nectarines/ Apricots
The first harvest began last week in both Arvin and Kettlemen. Some rain fell, but no significant damage is projected outside of some light staining on early varieties. Harvest volume and sizing is very limited currently and will not pick up until mid-May once Central CA starts harvesting. The size will continue to peak on 64’s and 72’s currently, and then bump up slightly in 2 weeks. Current availability will be slightly in flux until volume increases. Okay to start carrying first harvest fruit, but plan on the biggest promotion windows for late May, June and July.
Rain! As soon as the cherry harvest started last week, Central CA got a rainstorm. This is detrimental to any fruit already ripening and turning color on the tree, causing splits due to fruit expanses thanks to surface moisture. Growers do not expect a significant impact on late-season Bings and other late volume fruit but are currently seeing very slow harvests and limited volume from the field on Tioga variety.