Market Update For Table Grapes

Week of December 3 – December 9

As we enter the month of December, the industry continues to work through an extremely challenging season, while trying to navigate a myriad of variables this late in the year.  In years past, the transition to imported supplies was much less convoluted.  However, with significant volumes of California table grapes still in cold storages, we’re venturing into uncharted territory with an uncertain final outcome.  Typically, retail pricing in December would range from $2.49 – $3.99 per pound, but we continue to see aggressive promotions in place as low as $.98 per pound, especially on red seedless.  This has generated substantial movement and expectations are to see this brisk business continue as we head into the Christmas holiday.  The greatest unknown variable is whether overall quality and condition of California fruit will hold through the balance of the season.

Red Seedless

The industry is seeing three different levels right now for red seedless pricing: aggressive pre-committed program business, general spot market pricing and fresh arrivals of Peruvian imports.  The majority of US retailers have been given aggressive promotional pricing now through Christmas with FOB’s ranging from $12.95-$16.95.  It is still uncertain as to how the overall quality and condition of California red seedless grapes will arrive as retailers pull heavy volumes over the next three weeks.  With substantial volumes now pre-committed through the end of the year, some growers have been trying to raise the floor on the general spot market.  With growing interest for Peruvian red grapes and fairly aggressive opening quotes from importers, California growers will be certain not to take their spot market pricing too high.  General FOB pricing for Peruvian red seedless will range from $22-$26 FOB east coast, allowing retailers to transition into importers without having to significantly adjust retail pricing at store level.

Green Seedless

For months growers and shippers have been offering extremely aggressive pricing on California green seedless.  However, as we come towards the end of the year, they’re realizing they have just enough inventory to cover their pre-committed program business.  Spot market pricing has adjusted higher and expectations are to see this trend continue through the duration of the month.  If marketers take the price too high, retailers will begin switching to imported fruit sooner than later.  Pricing on good quality California green seedless currently ranges from $16.95-$20.95 with the mostly market at $18.95.  California marketers should be able to move through remaining volumes in a controlled fashion as long as their pricing increases are prudent and quality holds.  Better shipments of Peruvian Superiors and Arra 15’s will begin to arrive by the middle of the month with opening pricing ranging from $26-$30 with the general price settling in at $28.

Black Seedless

California black seedless inventories will begin to wind down for the year with limited supplies currently on-hand in cold storages.  Autumn Royals and Adora Black Seedless are still available as well as a few Moon Drops and other proprietary varieties.  Pricing on good quality black seedless currently ranges from $18.95-$22.95 with size and variety being the determining factors.

Organics

California organic table grapes are winding down for the season with only a few remaining supplies left in the market.  Imported organic red and green seedless from Peru are already on water and expectations are to see the first shipments arrive next week.  Overall pricing on 18# will range from $42-$46 FOB and 11/1# will range from $32-$36 FOB with the mostly market at $34 on both red and green supplies.