Market Update For Table Grapes
Week of March 18 – March 24
Excellent volumes of Chilean table grapes are flowing into the US market with consistent arrivals and strong retail support. Expectations are to see an additional flush of red and black seedless enter the US prior to the April 10th USDA Marketing Order, while green seedless shipments begin to wind down towards the end of the month. Importers will continue to offer aggressive FOB pricing on red and black seedless through the balance of the month in order to keep fruit moving through the pipeline. Early reports indicate that Mexican production is behind schedule, so marketers will start looking for a strategy to extend their volumes into May. Marketers are already putting away their best quality storage lots of green seedless to position their fruit for higher FOB’s in the month of April.
Chilean Flames and Super Flames are effectively finished for the season with the bulk of arrivals now focused on Crimson Seedless and some proprieties red seedless varieties. The overall feel of the market is weaker as importers offer extremely aggressive FOB pricing, which is likely to continue through the first week of April. We’ve seen a tremendous amount of retail promotional activity, which has kept fruit moving through the system in a brisk fashion. Pricing on Crimson Seedless currently ranges from $16-$18 on medium/large, $18-$20 on large and $22 on x-large. Decent volumes of proprietary red seedless are available in the market, although some importers are struggling to secure a premium for the fruit. Pricing currently ranges from $20-$24 with the mostly market at $22 for proprietary red seedless. With the knowledge that Mexican Flames may have a late start, marketers will look to position their strongest lots of red seedless to extend into May.
There is still good volume of Thompson Seedless entering the market with a wide range in overall quality and condition. We’ve begun to see a split market between premium quality storage lots and fruit that needs to be moved through the system quickly. Most importers won’t look to sell storage lots until the first two weeks of April. That being said, there will be good supplies of mid-grade Chilean Thompson Seedless available through the balance of the month. Pricing on good quality green seedless currently ranges from $20-$22 on medium/large, $24-$26 on large and $26-$28 on x-large. Storage quality fruit currently ranges from $28-$32 with very few importers looking move their best lots yet. Harvesting of Chilean Thompson Seedless are almost finished with the bulk of remaining supplies already on water. Expectations are to see pricing on green seedless adjust into the 30’s as we near the end of the month.
Overall movement of Chilean unknown black seedless has been brisk as good quality and aggressive FOB’s have been in place for the past 2 weeks. We expect to see pricing adjust higher over the next few weeks as the industry transitions out of the unknown variety and into Autumn Royals. Pricing currently ranges from $18-$20 on large and $20-$22 on x-large premium fruit. Autumn Royal pricing is expected to open from $24-$26 as we near the first week of April.
Arrivals of Peruvian Red Globes are winding down for the season, leaving the industry short on supply as we wait for Chilean shipments. The market seemed to gain strength virtually overnight with FOB’s adjusting higher as overall supplies began to tighten. Pricing currently ranges from $16-$20 with size, color and condition being the determining factors. It could be another 7-10 days until the industry sees any meaningful volume of Chilean Red Globes enter the US market.