Market Update For Berries

Week of January 27 – February 2

Strawberries

Some US retailers chose an inopportune time to promote last week as overall production in Mexico remained lackluster and pack-outs in Florida dropped off significantly. Typically, during this time period we would see ample supplies from Florida, but extreme cold weather has hampered overall berry development. Nighttime temperatures fell close to freezing last week, slowing the flow of fruit and placing a greater burden on Mexico.  Production in both regions combined continues to range from 350k-500k flats per day, which is significantly lower than what’s required to support promotional activity. Fresh crop fruit from Oxnard, CA remains very limited with daily pack-outs ranging from 75k-145k flats per day. Expectations are for another demand/exceed supply situation through the balance of the week. To compound the current situation further, both Florida and Mexico are expected to see precipitation towards the end of the week.  Look for the spot market to open from $18-$20 with limited availability in all growing regions. There is some slight hope that Oxnard can start to pick up the pace and provide retailers with enough fruit to meet the Valentines’ Day demand. Cross your fingers.