Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report November 14 to November 20
The end is rapidly getting closer. Rains and heat waves did their damage to the total crop volume for the season. Supplies will continue to get more and more limited as we reach season end, along with FOB pricing firming quickly to slow down movement. Expect another 3 to 4 weeks of supplies, then a very limited amount of fruit hanging into late December. Imports will not bring enough volume in December to meet demand as California finishes, but most retailers will be forced to try to make the switch by mid-December. Hold on for a rocky availability from mid-December through end of January on red seedless.
Green grapes will continue, but only slightly longer then red seedless. Due to crop volume on Autumn King and Autumn Crisp, California greens will stretch into mid-December, possibly later. But Peruvian and Brazilian fruit has already begun to arrive onto the East Coast, with some wholesale and retailers already jumping on board imports. West Coast should stay focused on CA fruit for the balance of the crop, but may be forced to make the switch by mid-December just based on quality. Based on the CA finish, as well as import arrivals, the focus should be on green seedless during the transition as red seedless will for sure be tighter.
Autumn Royals are done harvesting, but supplies will likely stretch for another 2 – 3 weeks, with supplies expected to stretch into late November / early December. Quality is good and volume is similar to previous seasons. Continue to carry for the color break and additional sales, then wind down moving into late November. Black seedless volume from South America will not hit until January to start the season with some new varieties coming into production.
Red Globes are virtually done on CA fruit. Only small inventories remain to try to stretch through the month. Peruvian fruit has arrived on both coasts, in light supplies, and will help bridge the gap as the local crop finishes. FOB’s will firm due to freight cost.
Tree Fruit – Imports
The first fruit has begun arriving to the U.S., mostly to Miami with small amounts continuing on air flights to LA and NJ. Size has been mostly Jumbo and larger on early arrivals as growers focus on premium fruit for first flights. Volume will remain light, not due to crop size but simply due to lack of air flight space from Chile and Argentina. Also, air flight cost is through the roof and will be the sole reason FOB pricing. Promotional opportunities will be light due to the limited air flight arrivals. Ad opportunities in very late December / January once vessel fruit arrives and brings the fire power.
Chilean Murcott availability has cleaned up here for crop finish. California will start with some limited supplies of early variety this week, but true clementine variety are not expected until early November. Early varieties will fill demand, but better varietal mix will be seen by late November moving into the New Year.
CA continues to pick up momentum on navel orange, as weather cools quickly and allow for slightly less gas time as natural color picks up. It will be slow to increase, but by late November almost no gassing time is expected. Size is small at the start like historically shows, peaking on 72’s, 88’s and 113’s with only a small percentage larger. Get ready for promotions and better size and volume moving into December.
D1 is moving into a volume on lemons shortly, as D3 finishes. Smaller sizing will be seen at the start with 140’s and 168’s being the peak volume. Color will come on shortly with cooler nights arriving. Crop volume will hit by January for promotion.
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