Market Update For Strawberries

Week of April 6 – April 12

Last week, we saw California strawberry production pick up with solid numbers out of Oxnard and Santa Maria. Watsonville was also packing but only limited volumes. FOB’s were mainly unchanged even though we typically see a spot market spike due to heavy Easter demand. This year though for obvious reasons, the industry has seen only moderate demand for fresh strawberries. Retailers are still focused on highlighting strawberries as consumers are hungry for items high in Vitamin C and Zinc. Although there is no scientific proof that pumping your body with extra vitamin A, C and Zinc will help fight off this virus, all three are critical to having a strong immune system. With rain expected in all three growing regions this week, many growers picked ahead to have supplies early in the week. The rain could actually help keep the market stable as demand typically drops off  right after Easter.  If production stayed at last week’s numbers we would see spot market pricing drop below $10. Look for the spot market to open between $10-$12 with some growers still shipping program business at $14-$16. If demand remains spotty this week, we should see very little impact from the rain but don’t be surprised to see consumer support pick up over the coming weeks if store level pricing stays at $2.99 or less.