Market Update for Table Grapes

Week of April 8 – April 14

Over the past week, the table grape industry started receiving the best volumes of the season, but we have seen a very wide range in quality and storability. This will only complicate an already complicated market. Spot pricing for weaker lots can paint the wrong picture. We should expect a split market now through the balance of the season, as marketers sift through their fruit. The best quality fruit will certainly demand the best pricing. Volumes from both Chile and Brazil will drop over the following three weeks and cool weather in Mexico looks to delay their start, so buckle up for at least 5 more weeks of demand exceed supply for the strongest retail quality box.

Red Seedless

Shipments of new proprietary varieties from Chile are making their way to the U.S., but volumes have not been enough to make up for all the Crimsons that were pulled in their favor. The spot market has held firm and any idea that the volumes over the next three to four weeks will soften pricing is all but history.  We won’t see any meaningful volumes of red grapes from Mexico until the last week in May, so that will only strengthen marketers’ positions. The only question that remains is whether the condition of this fruit can hang on to stretch out shipments through the middle of May. Currently, the spot market ranges from $36.00 to $42.00 for the best quality fruit, depending on size and variety.

Green Seedless

Importers’ QC teams will have to earn their stripes over the coming weeks, as we have seen a very wide range in quality and condition on both Chilean and Brazilian fruit. With the hopes of taking advantage of a strong U.S. market, growers have sent everything including the kitchen sink. Proprietary varieties like Sweet Globes and Autumn Crisp are faring significantly better than Thompsons and Arra 15’s. Expect a true split market, with deals being cut on weaker lots that must be flushed through the system quickly. Currently, the spot market for good quality fruit ranges from $36.00 to as high as $42.00. The few remaining premium Peruvian Autumn Crisp are trading even higher. The floor could top $40.00 for clean fruit by the 15th of April, but there will still be questionable lots complicating matters.