Market Update For Berries

Week of November 22 – November 28

For the past 4 weeks, strawberry availability has been extremely limited and spot market FOB’s have ranged from $24-$30. Now that we are past heavy demand for Thanksgiving, we are hoping to see both pricing and availability take a more positive turn. We should start to see better volumes of Mexican fruit start crossing, and with national retails averaging close to $4.99/lb., we could be in for a correction. It should take a few more weeks before we see promotional volumes from Mexico and Florida. Santa Maria and Oxnard are still in the game, and once we see all three growing regions in play, then FOB’s will get back to promotable levels. For now, we will have to wait as marketers try to hold onto the extremely high spot market. Look for pricing to open between $26-$28 from both California and Mexico.  It won’t be too long before we see FOB’s begin to adjust lower. Even with an empty pipeline, retails are just too high to sustain this market.

Blueberries

It’s been a very tough October and November for imported blueberries, as record volumes from Peru have kept the industry oversupplied. Retailers have done their part and have supported strong promotional activity heading into Thanksgiving. With the increased demand, we saw the spot market tick slightly higher last week, but there is still plenty of opportunity for retailers to keep pushing well into December. Overall exports from Peru have been on the decline for the past two weeks.  However, there should still be enough arrivals to keep the industry supplied until Chilean volumes can pick up the slack. The spot market currently ranges from $12-$16 on pints with the mostly market at $14. Marketers are hoping to take pricing back up to $16 through the end of the month, and then take the market to $20-$22 on pints in early December. Volumes from Chile won’t hit peak levels until Christmas, but we will see consistent arrivals throughout the month. Organic pricing has also found a better level as most of the aging inventories on the east coast have been moved through. There will still be good volumes of Peruvian organics in December with the mostly market on 12/6oz trading between $14-$16.