Market Update for California Cherries

Week of May 23 – May 29

California cherry growers hit peak production last week. They had hoped that Memorial Day promotions would help them hold onto the high FOB’s from earlier in the month, but the $5.99 to $7.99 retails moved consumers to look for cheaper fruit alternatives. This led to some back off from overall demand heading into the holiday. Spot market availability ticked higher, and FOB’s moved well below expected levels. 11.5 row cherries are trading between $45-$50, 11 row between $52-$56, and 10.5 row from $58-$62. 10 row and larger ranged from $60.00 to as high as $68.00. Now that the peak harvest is behind us, daily cherry pack outs will drop off significantly through the end of the month. With a very short Bing crop, the spot market should jump right back, with pricing well over $70 for premium California fruit. Washington state production will be off to a late start, so California growers should not be feeling any pressure to lower pricing as retailers look to transition to the Northwest.