Market Update For Berries

Week of May 13 – May 19

Strong Mother’s Day demand helped growers keep coolers clean last week, a complete 180 for an industry that was unable to keep up with historic daily pack-outs that exceeded 1.5 million flats. Oxnard growers finally started sending most of their fruit to the freezer and Santa Maria growers followed suit, as the spot market continued to move well below break-even. Northern growers were still recovering from last weekend’s rain, so we saw the general spot marked get back to $10.00 FOB in all growing regions. Weather will remain cool this week, which should keep production under control. Most retailers have plans to keep promoting strawberries through Memorial Day, so we can expect supply and demand to stay in balance, but FOBs look to remain unprofitable as the break-even point for growers is close to $14.00.