Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report October 23 to October 29
We are reaching the tail end of the CA red grape harvest, driven by the short crop and field losses in excess of 40%. This will end the season quickly and with some flourish, as retailers across the country expect to find a very tight grape market in late November through mid-January. Allison is the main variety left to go, with a few Crimson and Scarlotta remaining. Crews will continue to harvest for the next 2 – 3 weeks in the field, then transition into more house packing supplies from totes. Expect FOB’s to continue to jump to slow down movement on the last few weeks of the crop. Imports from Brazil have started on the East Coast, but true volume won’t be until late November and December from Peru.
Autumn King will be the main variety featured for the next 6 weeks before the crop comes to a quick finish. Some Autumn Crisp will be seen for high dollar export business. Quality is stronger then the red seedless crop, so growers are seeing slightly higher production on the remaining green grapes left for the season. Still, total crop volume will be down 20%+ easily due to the tropical storm damage. Promotional volume of Autumn King will be available for the next 3 – 4 weeks, but FOB’s will still remain very strong due to decreased harvest volume. The US will start seeing some Brazilian and Peruvian green seedless starting to arrive now and in early November to help with the transition as California comes to a quick, early finish.
Growers will continue to make their last passed on the Autumn Royal crop, as well as pack some totes for later season business. Crop volume will be considerably off on total crop volume due to rain loss. Expect decent supplies now through early November, then a quick finish as the crop is moved through fast. FOB’s are matching red and green seedless in lofty costs due to labor involved to pack a clean box. Continue to push black seedless as a color break with decent volume to help offset lack of red seedless supplies.
Red globe availability will continue for the next 3 – 4 weeks from Central CA. Quality should be the main prerogative as all fruit has seen some rain. 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. Peruvian red globes are already available for sale on the East and expected to start seeing transitions into import fruit once CA waivers.
Tree Fruit – Imports
Chile and Argentina are both close. First air shot arrivals are expected to start by the 2nd to 3rd week of November, with increased volume right before Thanksgiving. Total crop volume is off this season, as well as higher packing and shipping costs. Expect growers to put pressure for higher FOB sales in the U.S. to be profitable, even on vessel arrivals after January 1st.
CA is done. Waiting on first Chilean arrivals, likely in early December.
Same thing as yellow peach.
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. Growers have inventory and will continue to ship into early November, depending upon movement. First Chilean fruit not until January 2024.
Murcott and Tango variety will continue for a few more weeks from Chile. Now is the time to take advantage before a quick finish in early November and the wait for CA to start. FOB pricing has remained steady, but may look to spike in November as importers look to hold as much fruit back as possible. California is not expected to go until 2nd week of November on true clem varieties. Avoid large promos in early November until California starts. The hope is that the last projected arrival volumes from Chile are enough to fill the gap in demand up to Central CA starting.
The navel orange crop from Chile is finishing very quickly, as California’s start continues to be delayed. A small amount of 48/56’s and bagging sizes are expected to continue to arrive to the U.S. over the next two weeks, but demand is increasing quickly. That will lead to higher FOB pricing for the last Chilean fruit and demand exceeds supply situation until Central CA truly starts around the 2nd week of November. Be cautious and limp through the remaining Chilean fruit until CA is on board and rolling.
Demand exceeds supply on the import lemon market. Chile has finished harvest for the season with only a small amount of fruit left to arrive. All sizes are tight, but specifically 115’s, 140’s and 165’s. Avoid promoting imported lemons in October at the finish, with enough supplies just for day to day movement before the finish. Coachella has started harvest on some early CA fruit, as well as Mexico crossings. Transition into Central CA will be fast to fill the pipeline, but expect a tight market and splitting COO’s to stay in supplies for the time being until Central CA volume starts in mid to late November.
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