Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report October 30 to November 5
The California crop is on the tail end of the crop, as growers near their final field picks for storage and house packing out of totes. The final crop tally looks to be coming in off by about 30 – 40% due to weather damage. The crop is expected to finish in late November, a full month earlier then usual. This has put excess demands on supply of good quality fruit that will store, demanding the highest FOB’s seem in recent times. Avoid promotions on red seedless and expect supplies to carry for another 3 – 4 weeks. The transition into imports will be quick, especially for East Coast retailers. The first imports have arrived and will continue to arrive in light volume as the transition nears. Expect a very tight market on red seedless in December and early January.
Autumn King will remain the variety featured for the next 4 – 5 weeks, along with 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. Crop volume will finish 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.
We are nearing the final picks for Autumn Royal black seedless, with only 2 – 3 weeks of supply remaining before crop finish. 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. Import arrivals of black seedless are not expected to start in volume until Peru kicks in in early January, with some earlier arrivals to the East.
Red globe availability will continue for the next 3 – 4 weeks from Central CA. Quality should be the main focus 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
The import cherry crop is right around the corner with the first harvest from Argentina and Chile. 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 done, first Chilean arrivals in early December.
CA done, first Chilean arrivals in mid-December.
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.
Continue to promote for a few more weeks, as last arrivals are coming in before CA harvest start. Murcott and Tango variety will continue for a few more weeks from Chile. FOB pricing has remained steady, but may look to spike in November as importers look to clean up on arrivals before new crop. California is not expected to go until 2nd week of November on true clem varieties. 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 seeing its final arrivals, with CA just starting to scratch in a limited way. 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. California will be very limited on big fruit at the start and this will allow Chilean fruit to clean up. 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. Chilean fruit will be in good demand to fill the supply gap and leave only a small overlap.
Demand exceeds supply on the import lemon market. The last Chilean arrivals will hit this week, while CA focus on D3 and waits on D1 fruit. All sizes are tight, but specifically 115’s, 140’s and 165’s. Avoid promoting imported lemons in early November, with enough supplies just for day to day movement before the finish. Coachella will continue 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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