Market Update For Berries
Week of September 25 – October 1
As retailers look to find options to replace typical table grape promotions in October, the California strawberry industry is ready to step in and fill the shelves with good quality fall fruit. Perfect weather in both Santa Maria and Watsonville has kept daily production hovering just over 1 million daily flats, so the spot market hasn’t really been able to get over $14.00. We should start to see better volumes of new crop fruit from Santa Maria over the next two weeks and if Watsonville can keep packing decent fruit for the west coast, retailers should have good options to keep promoting strawberries. Currently, the spot market ranges from $12.00 to $16.00, with the mostly market at $14.00 FOB. If retail demand picks up slightly, we could see the market move off the floor of $12.00 and stabilize at $14.00 to $16.00 in early October. The extreme shortage of imported blueberries will also help keep retail focus on fresh strawberries over the next 4 weeks.