Market Update For Berries

Week of March 18 – March 24

California strawberry production has yet to come fully online as fields in both Oxnard and Santa Maria are down more than 4 million flats in comparison to this time last year.  Daily pack-outs are hovering around 200k flats per day which is about half of what we’d typically see in the month of March.  Significant El Nino weather patterns continue to hamstring the region with rain expected on Wednesday throughout the growing regions of California.  Hopefully, growers will be able to clean fields quickly as mild days and cool nights are forecasted through the balance of the week.  Many growers in Florida are wrapping up for the season as overall quality and condition has declined rapidly.  Some shippers are still packing in the region, although the majority of the fruit will not meet retail specification.  Overall supplies will not be able to meet strong retail demand with pro-rates expected through the balance of the week.  Look for the market to range from $14-$16 on pre-committed program business with spot market pricing ranging from $16-$20 on good quality California fruit.