Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report September 18 to September 24
Another week of poor field pack out continues. Crews continue to run into heavy losses in certain fields, especially in the south San Joaquin Valley and are forced to walk away due to extremely high labor costs. The projections of a 40 – 50% loss look to be accurate, especially on Krissy and Jack Salute varieties. Some varieties like Allison and Scarlet Royal look to have faired better. 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.
Losses on Great Green and Sweet Globe mount on certain fields, while other pack okay. Losses on green seedless due to the rain look to be lighter then red seedless, but still significant. Field crews have the hardest job of putting up good pack on a very tough crop outlook. This will continue all the way into Autumn King and Autumn Crisp that will make up the last two months of the season. 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 sky rocket on good fruit, but expect it to be a little lighter then reds due to total crop damage.
Black seedless are in trouble. Summer Royal and early varieties are done. South Valley is struggling to start Autumn Royal, while it still depends on how that crop holds considering the rain. Nothing was covered and all exposed to heavy rain. Expect some light volume, but avoid ad promotions until total remaining crop volume can be assessed. The Autumn Royal crop will come up short and demand a premium like red seedless.
Some Red Globe are available, but most south Valley fields did not take the rain. Fruit up north faired 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.
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 early October, but the rains hosed any chance of fruit extending into October. White peaches are done for the season.
Done for the season.
Plums / Pluots
We are onto the last varieties of the season. 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 then other stone fruit due to their bloom protection and tougher skin. Packouts have dropped, but still in okay supply currently. Keep plums as the one item on stone fruit that light promotions can continue on going into October.
The clem market continues to firm and October could be extremely short due to demand. Murcott and Tango will continue, as other countries of origin are 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 October as CA is not expected to go until 2nd week of November. Start to firm price points and avoid large promos in October due to concern of volume to sustain the industry. Most do not anticipate projected arrival volumes to fill the gap in demand up to Central CA starting.
The navel orange market has come to life. Some supplies of 56’s and 48’s remain at a marketable FOB, but lighter arrivals on 72’s and smaller have firmed up pricing on bagging sizes very quickly. Focus should be put on larger sized fruit to promote in bulk, with bags as a fallback that will continue to plug along with lighter arrival volume. Again, like clems, 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 moving into October and demand will be very high for the limited amount of fruit arriving in mid to late October. CA is set for a late October / early November start on navels.
Demand exceeds supply on the import lemon market. 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 after the end of September as arrivals will struggle to fill the pipeline. Some California fields are beginning to come online and will continue to slowly start harvest. 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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