Market Update for Table Grapes

Week of October 3 – October 9

Historically, October is a strong month for the California table grape industry. Despite the heat and rain in September, growers remain confident in the quality of the remaining crop. Growers in northern Peru and Brazil will start harvesting early volumes of seedless grapes in October. They will closely monitor California’s progression and will be ready to start sending fruit to the U.S. as soon as California shows any signs of weakness. With improved logistics, early South American table grapes could hit the east coast by the first week of November.

Red Seedless

Growers in the central valley are hitting peak production on Scarlet Royal and, although the storage numbers are lower than last year, there is still a lot of pressure on the market with promotional pricing in place. Indicators are pointing to lower volumes of red seedless to finish the season, but for now marketers need to keep pushing. Currently FOBs are ranging from $15.95 for ML, $16.95 to $17.95 for large and $17.95 to $19.95, with the mostly market at $18.95 for XLG Scarlets. Marketers with proprietary varieties are still looking for a premium, but it has been a challenge with business being so soft. Look for the market to start ticking higher over the next two weeks and we could see FOBs in the 20s by the end of the month.

Green Seedless

The heat and rain in California have impacted the seedless crop causing certain growers to walk away from the damaged fields. The greatest impact of the extreme weather is showing in varieties like Great Green and Autumn Kings. Nevertheless, growers remain confident that there are ample supplies of quality green seedless to carry the industry well into December. Currently, FOBs range from $14.95 to $15.95 for aged lots and ML fruit, $16.95 for large and $17.95 to $18.95 for XLG Great Green and Autumn Kings. Premium lots of Autumn Crisp are fetching very good prices for export, but most domestic sales range from $24.95 to 26.95. Look for the green seedless markets to remain at these levels, with no indication that pricing will go higher in October.

Black Seedless

It is either feast or famine with black seedless sales. Retailers are not interested in promoting black seedless with the exception being the month of October which highlights black seedless sales due to Halloween. Currently, black seedless is trading between $18.95 and $22.95, but it is likely that the mostly market will fall back to $18.95 as harvests start to ramp up over the next two weeks.