Market Update For Table Grapes
Week of April 15 – April 21
After a month of consistent arrivals, steady movement and solid consumer support the imported table grape market will begin to recalibrate as overall availability is already being affected by the April 10th USDA Marketing Order. All inbound Chilean Seedless shipments must meet US #1 upon arrival, leaving growers unlikely to ship anything but excellent quality fruit. There will still be a fair amount of Crimson Seedless entering the market for the next 7-10 days, but overall black and green seedless arrivals will decline rapidly through the balance of season. Although a heavy crop of seedless table grapes is hanging in Hermosillo and Caborca Mexico, the industry isn’t expected to see any meaningful volume until the third week of May. Importers will do their best to stretch Chilean supplies until then, but there is a real concern that we could see a gap in supply, especially on green seedless.
The industry continues to see fair volumes of Crimson Seedless enter the market and overall quality and condition remains very good. Importers were expecting to see red seedless pricing begin adjusting higher towards the end of the month, but with unstable markets in Asia and Europe, Chilean growers have opted to send more volume to the United States. Importers will continue to offer aggressive FOB’s in order to keep fruit moving through the system in a controlled fashion. General pricing on Crimson Seedless currently ranges from $16-$18 on medium/large, $18-$20 on large and $20-$22 on x-large. There are decent supplies of proprietary red seedless varieties such as Jack Salute, Allison and others with pricing ranging from $20-$24 depending on size, condition and importer. Many importers have locked in promotional program pricing through the end of the month, which could prompt some of them to ask for higher pricing on spot market sales.
There continues to be a true split market between premium storage-quality lots and poor to average quality fruit that needs to be moved quickly. Many importers are repacking suspect quality lots of imported green seedless in order to meet retail specifications. By the end of the week, most importers will have moved the majority of their average and repacked fruit, leaving only long-term storage lots left to sell. Pricing on fair quality green seedless currently ranges from $24-$28 on medium/large, $28-$30 on large and $30-$32 on x-large. Importers with premium quality storage lots are asking anywhere from $34-$38 with size and condition being the determining factors. The industry will surely exhaust overall supplies of green seedless before early volumes begin crossing from Mexico. Look for spot market pricing on green seedless to continue to tick higher week by week with FOB’s eventually reaching the $40 mark.
Overall imported black seedless arrivals are quickly finishing for the season. Growers and shippers usually do not ship fruit past the USDA Marketing Order because the Autumn Royal variety is susceptible to shatter and will not make US #1 on arrival. Overall availability has begun to tighten with FOB’s adjusting higher week by week. Pricing for good quality black seedless currently ranges from $28-$32 with the market trending higher. Look for supplies to be available for another 7-10 days as the industry moves through the last volumes of the season.
Overall supplies of Peruvian Red Globes are finished for the season and the industry will begin to see a steady flow of Chilean supplies enter the market. Overall demand for Red Globes has been lackluster with only a marginal number of retailers carrying a seeded grape during this time of year. We have seen pricing tick slightly higher because overall supplies are fairly light. Pricing currently ranges from $17-$20 with size, color and quality being the determining factors.