Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report October 10 to October 16
We continue to move into late-season fruit, as Scarlet Royal and Sweet Celebration continue, but growers also move into first harvests of Allison, Scarlotta, and Holiday varieties. In general, quality is remaining strong even considering the recent rains and heat, but taking a lot of work in the field to clean and put up nice packs. This trend will continue for the remainder of the season. Supplies are moderate currently and allow for good promotional opportunities for another 1 ½ months. Expect December to bring on a quick finish as supplies may become limited due to weather-related losses in packing out in the field.
Greens have started to wind down on varieties like Sweet Globe and Timpson, soon becoming a 3-tier crop between Pristine, Autumn King, and Autumn Crisp varieties. Quickly it will be down to the two main varieties to get us to the finish line, with Autumn King being the most widely planted volume. Like reds, it is taking a fair amount of fieldwork to put a good pack. But Autumn King supplies should stretch into early to mid-December until it is time for an import transition.
Autumn Royals will continue to harvest for the next 2 – 3 weeks, with supplies expected to stretch into late November / early September. 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.
Red Globe volume arrived and will continue through October and November, stretching into the volume of Peruvian arrivals. The CA crop will be able to carry the West Coast for a while to get through the season, but some early Peruvian fruit will arrive in the East and create the start of the import market.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Virtually a done deal, with only a small amount of fruit remaining to clean up. Time to call it quits. First Chilean fruit on peach and nectarine will arrive by air flight, then containers in late November.
Plums / Pluots
The last varieties remain, with some Flavor-Fall red and Angelino black still hanging around. Retailers have mostly moved into Fall sets and moved away from promoting CA plums. Expect supplies to last for another 2 – 3 weeks. Chile will not start with first arrivals until late January.
The import cherry season from Chile and Argentina is right around the corner. First arrivals are expected by 2nd week of November on early air flights. But air volume will not build up until right before Thanksgiving. Based on increased freight costs, the pricing structure can only get so aggressive even with a bigger crop for the U.S. market. Expect promotable FOB pricing by late December once the first container vessels arrive.
Murcott’s arrival volume has wound down, with only some minimal arrivals left for Chilean and Australian fruit. Some inventories remain available but quickly move into a short demand-exceeds-supply situation as well. Expect supplies to move quickly as retailers plan ahead for a decrease in the availability of imports before California starts. Some Satsuma varieties will start in CA by late October, but a promotable volume of clementines will not be available from the CA harvest until 2nd week of November. Avoid promoting, as supplies will just be enough to sustain the supply chain.
Demand greatly exceeds supplies of the remaining navel crop on both the East and West Coast. Vessel arrival volume has stopped and the last supplies of the season have arrived, leading to a shortage of products before CA starts to harvest. FOB pricing will remain high and increasing, with likely not enough fruit to fill the gap. California will start around 10/17 in a very limited way, but not see navel volume until early November once gassing time winds down. Continue to be cautious on import volume as it will end quickly.
Lemons are virtually done from Chile and Argentina, with supplies cleaning up rapidly as arrival volume stopped. Only a small amount of supplies remains on either coast to try to fill the demand. FOB pricing will continue to firm rapidly due to demand. California has finished D3 and waiting for D1 to bring the biggest volume for a November harvest start. Stay close on lemons, as the shortage from South America due to the freeze will definitely be felt until D1 brings on the firepower.
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