Grapes, Tree Fruit and Citrus Market Report September 5 to September 11
Red seedless will continue on strong, with mostly Scarlet Royal and Sweet Celebration making up a majority of the volume. Some Krissy and Jack Salute varieties still in the mix. Scarlet Royal will bring the biggest volume over the next month, before we transition into the start of the late varieties like Allison and Crimson. With the 110+ degree temps, expect some heat damage in the field as crews can only work half days. Continue to promote, especially once the heat wave backs off and volume starts flowing out of the field.
Sweet Globe and the start of the Autumn King variety will make up a majority of the green seedless crop, as Ivory and Timpson finish out. Expect the heat to slow things down and limit production from the field, as well as create some heat damage and possibly shorten up the back end of the crop. Still, quality will remain the focus and allow for ample promotional volume over the next 5 – 6 weeks before we see how the crop will finish up in December. Continue to promote.
Black grapes continue to hit a gap period due to the heat and variety of timing. Growers are anticipating the start of Autumn Royal in the next week to help alleviate some of the pressure on the black seedless crop. Volumes have been light lately, so Autumn Royal will come at a great time to bring supplies back into the system. Expect a late November / early December wind down on black seedless.
Red Globes will continue to pick steadily here in Central CA even through the heat wave. Volume is light due to producing acreage, keeping FOB’s higher then seedless varieties all season. But continue to mix in as good supplies will carry into December typically, even with the lighter crop volume.
Tree Fruit – Imports
We are on the back end of the yellow peach harvest for the season. Autumn Flame will pick across the Valley, especially in the Arvin and Reedley area, while Firefall variety finishes up. Size will continue to peak large, but packout volume has greatly been affected by the heat and rain. Expect a lighter then normal crop at the finish line, which is about a month away. A few limited growers will go later. The white peach crop is finished, as the last varieties have been blasted by heat. Only a few remain through this week.
The nectarine crop will come to a dramatic finish. Packouts have been horrendous for growers due to the heat and August rain storm. Very little fruit is getting in the box, but what is is large in size. Only a few more varieties remain that will start picking this week. With the lack of inventory and poor packouts, it would be wise to pull the plug on both yellow and white nectarine due to fear of availability and quality at the finish.
Plums / Pluots
The plum crop is seeing the same issues as the other stone fruit. Heat wave kicking the plum / pluot harvest in the rear end. Quality will be questioned to see if there is internal damage, especially on black plums. Angelino black plums are starting, as well as Flavor Fall variety. In general, demand exceeds supply on plums due to the poor packouts and lack of inventories. Pluots are on the tail end of the variety list. Expect another month for plums then an early finish to the crop due to the heat.
Murcott will remain the focus on the easy peeler crop, as Chile is continuing to arrive along with South Africa (to the East), but Peruvian and Urugayan supplies finish out. Import volume is lighter than normal for this time of year, but anticipated to be that way, and helping to keep pricing high and firm. Chile is expected to remain roughly 36% off on export volume over the last few months, with Murcott trending down roughly 10%. This will put a lot strain on import volumes. Even though supplies are promotable now, expect the end of September to most of October being mostly demand exceeds on easy peelers as the supply chain cleans up inching towards the start of Central CA. * Last break bulk is roughly September 21st to the West, expect a quick finish / gap before CA.
Navel volume will continue to remain light in comparison to previous seasons due to lot of factors. Even with some current supplies available, peaking on 56’s and larger, this will be short lived. And FOB pricing is expected to remain historically high all the way to the finish line in October. So far, Chile continues to trend down 10% so far on harvest volume, putting a crimp on any type of true momentum or adjustment on FOB’s to become more promotable. Expect much of the same for most of the crop as pricing will remain firm and tighten up quickly in late September to early October. Demand will continue to keep inventories relatively clean as we move through the crop. * Last break bulk is roughly September 21st to the West, expect a quick finish / gap before CA.
Lemons may become one of the tightest items on both coasts over the next 3 – 4 weeks as arrival volume starts to slow down and finish. The West Coast will see a shortage of arrivals starting in the next 10 – 14 days and remain tight to the finish. Argentina is a welcome help to the East, as volume looks to tighten up. Avoid promotions in late September and expect FOB pricing to continue to firm over the next 3 – 4 weeks as supplies start to fall off. Chilean crop volume is already finished, so whatever is left to go will be on the water for late September and not in the volume needed to meet demand. There are still some CA lemons left from District 2, but expect a gap between the finish of imports and the start of CA District 1. * Last break bulk is roughly September 21st to the West, expect a quick finish / gap before CA.
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