Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report October 2 to October 8
Red seedless continue along in decreased harvest volume due to the rain damage. The Southern San Joaquin Valley is seeing extremely poor and very costly pack outs from the field. The projections of a 40 – 50% loss look to be accurate, but coming a little better as growers finish Scarlet Royal and move into Allison variety. There is no lid to the current FOB market and that trend will remain, with prices already in excess of double a normal crop. Avoid promotions, as red grape demand will only allow for day to day availability. Expect a very early finish with imported fruit demanding a premium. Allison will be the last main variety of the season, before an early late November crop finish and scramble for imports.
Growers have finished most other varieties and will move into Autumn King for the late crop volume. Losses on green seedless due to the rain look to be lighter than red seedless, but still significant. Field crews have the hardest job of putting up a good pack on a very tough crop outlook. Expect the Autumn King and Autumn Crisp to stretch into late November, depending upon movement. Hold on for a bumpy ride at the finish, as size will be huge on the Autumn Crisp but quality and condition will be a pending debate at the finish. FOB prices continue to skyrocket on good fruit, but expect it to be a little lighter than reds due to total crop damage.
Black seedless volume has finally turned the corner, as most growers in the Valley are harvesting Autumn Royal. This is the largest volume variety of the season but will be considerably off on total crop volume due to rain loss. Expect decent supplies now through late October, then a quick finish as the crop is moved through fast. FOBs are matching red and green seedless in lofty costs due to the labor involved in packing a clean box.
Some Red Globe are available, but most south Valley fields did not take the rain. Fruit up north fared better. With all the focus on the seedless varieties, expect some availability on red globe for the time being but will see a very quick finish at the tail end. November will be in question due to quality.
Tree Fruit – Imports
The last legs of the yellow peach crop are upon us. Another 10 – 14 days remain on the crop, with the late season fruit wiped out by the rains. Quality and losses are a major issue. Some supplies available for a short period to get into mid-October, but the rains hosed any chance of fruit extending to a usual CA finish. White peaches are done for the season.
Plums / Pluots
Flavor-Fall will make a majority of the red plum availability, while Black Kat and Angeleno will be the black plums for the finish. Plums in general handle rain better than other stone fruit due to their bloom protection and tougher skin. With dropping harvests as fields finish, expect plum supplies to stretch into late October, but not brave the November storage crop due to rain and growing conditions.
Growers/importers are moving into what is expected to be a tight October and early November on import clementines, as we near the finish. Murcott and Tango will remain the varieties from Chile, as other origins have finished. Chile will be the focus for the balance of the season, but recent weather events may limit some of the volume at the crop finish due to acreage being loss. FOB pricing will jump as importers look to hold as much fruit back as possible to stretch into late October as CA is not expected to go until 2nd week of November on true clems. Avoid large promos in October. The hope is that the last projected arrival volumes are enough to fill the gap in demand up to Central CA starting..
The navel orange market remains strong nearing the finish. Good demand for 64s’s / 72’s and 88’s has made it tight on market availability. 56’s and 40/48’s will continue to arrive, but expect demand to remain strong there for premium retail. Like the clementine market, based on weather received during the harvest, expect navels to come up short of the Central CA start. Arrival volume will start to tail off earlier in mid-October and demand will be very high for the limited amount of fruit arriving at crop finish. CA is set for a late October / early November start on navels. This may spell a small gap in promotable volume until CA starts gassing heavy volumes of fruit.
Demand exceeds supply on the import lemon market. Chile has finished harvest for the season. Weather has created a drastic finish to harvest in Chile and the last of the Argentina arrivals have hit both coasts. Chile will not have enough supplies on the water to meet demand, with the sudden stop coming as a surprise. All sizes are tight, but specifically 115’s, 140’s and 165’s. Avoid promoting imported lemons in October, as pending arrivals will struggle to fill the pipeline. Coachella has started harvest on some early CA fruit. Transition into Central CA needs to be immediate to meet demand, but expect splitting COO’s to stay in supplies for the time being.
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