Market Update For Table Grapes
Week of August 8 – August 14
No matter what your opinion is about climate change, extreme weather patterns throughout the country seem to be a regular event. Death Valley received almost an entire year’s rain fall this past weekend and a fast-moving front dropped heavy rains in spots, from Dinuba to Fresno County. Growers have been dealing with severe drought over the past two months, and now the northern California monsoon season could bring unpredictable humid weather to the region through the balance of the summer. This year’s California table grape crop has already been estimated to be under 100 million total cartons for the first time in more than 5 years, so future rain events, combined with high humidity could impact those numbers even further. It may be too early to call, but indicators seem to be pointing towards lower volumes of California table grapes this coming fall.
We have been dealing with lower volumes of premium red seedless over the past three weeks, but that should change over the next 10 days. Growers are starting to harvest a well-set Scarlet Royal crop and we should see promotable opportunities for red seedless through August and September. There are still a few flames left, with that fruit trading between $16.95 and $18.95 FOB. Early Krissy are trading from $18.95 to $22.95. Opening pricing for Scarlet Royal should range from $18.95 to $22.95, and then settle back to promotable levels and hang in between $16.95 and $18.95 towards the end of August. Retailers should take advantage of the high quality red seedless crop and promote with confidence for the next 8 weeks.
Growers in the central valley are packing significant volumes of green seedless, and that trend should continue through the balance of the month. Some growers were forced to stop harvesting over the weekend, as sporadic rains kept them out of the fields. After 2 days of temperatures in the mid-90s, things should be dry enough for most to jump right back in. We are seeing peak production on Ivory, Timson, Sugraone, Sweet Globes and even some very early blocks of Autumn Kings. The market is currently ranging from $14.95 to $15.95 for ML, $16.95 for Large and $16.95 to $20.95 for XLG/Jumbo fruit. Look for things to keep cruising along at these levels well into September.
There is currently no shortage of black seedless, with growers packing heavy volumes of Midnights, Summer royal and Sweet Sapphire. Most retailers have moved away from the Sweet Sapphire variety and typically do not promote the other varieties until October and November. Currently, the spot market ranges from $16.95 to $20.95. Some marketers will look to make deals well below the cost of production, just to keep inventories under control. For retailers willing to take advantage of the promotable pricing available, black seedless can provide a bump to your summer sales.