Market Update for Table Grapes
Week of December 4 – December 10
The East Coast has been receiving imported table grapes from Brazil and Northern Peru since late September and we are starting to see some inconsistent quality. The good news is that growers from Ica are now packing strong volumes of very high-quality fruit that should hit the U.S. market by Christmas. We can expect to see overall market pricing to remain elevated through the month of December, but promotional volumes are on their way. With growers pruning early and maturity advanced due to warmer than normal temperatures, the industry will never see the gap that was expected after hurricane Hillary devastated the California crop.
There are plenty of imported green seedless available on the East Coast, but quality and condition are inconsistent depending on pack dates and variety. There are still volumes of fresh arrivals from Brazil and now Ica growers are starting to send good numbers as well. Surprisingly, some select growers in California are still shipping decent quality Autumn Kings, so the spot markets haven’t really jumped. Currently, the spot market for good fruit ranges from $28.00 to $30.00 for Large, $32.00 to $34.00 for XLG and Jumbo. Importers are looking to take the spot higher to compete with higher priced programs in December, but as more fruit comes in that will be harder to accomplish.
Red seedless pricing should remain elevated through the balance of the month as imported green will outpace red by almost three to one. California is just about done and Ica, Peru has only started to harvest light volumes of proprietary varieties. There are inventories from Piura and Brazil on the East Coast, but marketers are still holding out for higher prices. Currently, the spot market ranges from $32.00 to $36.00, with many importers expecting pricing to go higher and possibly exceed $40.00 over the next two to three weeks.