Market Update For Berries
Week of October 14 – October 20
Over the past several weeks, California strawberry production, demand and movement have all fluctuated widely. This late in the fall cycle, the industry has seen several late-season flushes due to warmer temperatures. FOB’s and availability have varied from grower to grower with little sense of stability in the market. Furthermore, overall quality continues to be a challenge, especially from fields in Watsonville and the inland growing regions of Salinas. Newer plantings in Oxnard are definitely producing the best quality available in the market, but the region is only packing between 75k-150k flats per day. The weather in all growing regions has been cooperating with fairly mild days and cool nights in the 40’s and 50’s. FOB pricing continues to hover between $14-$16 for good quality fruit. The industry can expect better berries coming soon, as Mexico is expected to begin packing preliminary volumes by the end of this week. We will likely see pallet-quantities in the short-term, but load volume is expected by the end of the month.
The imported blueberry market is trying to find a balance between supply and demand. Marketers have been reluctant to offer aggressive promotional pricing so far this season, but as supplies begin to build we are seeing a wide range in the market. Importers are doing their best to hold-out for higher program pricing, while pushing out spot market deals at the same time. Pricing on 12×6 oz. packs currently ranges from $14-$20 with quality and country of origin being the determining factor. We can expect to see arrivals continue to increase from all growing regions as we move towards November with plenty of promotional opportunities soon to come.