Market Update For Berries
Week of November 30 – December 6
Strawberry supplies are now coming from Florida, California and Mexico. Between all three regions, production is hovering around 500,000 flats per day. We saw a significant drop in the spot market last week as the Thanksgiving pull passed and production outpaced demand. We can expect to see a wide range in pricing to start the week with growers discounting fruit carried over from the weekend. Quality and condition in Santa Maria and Watsonville continue to be inconsistent, with Oxnard producing the best quality fruit in California. With overnight lows below 30 degrees in Santa Maria this past weekend, pack-outs there may drop below 150K flats per day. California FOB’s will range from $10-$16 with fresh-packed fruit from Oxnard getting the top of the market. Mexican crossings this week should remain steady with an average of 200K flats entering the US market daily. Spot market FOB’s should open from $14-$18 with the mostly market at $16. With lower demand following the holiday, we may see FOB’s in Nogales adjust lower by the weekend. Florida growers are now packing every day, but we are still three weeks away from promotable volumes. East coast retailers will be looking to move business to Florida as soon as possible with significant freight savings to be had. FOB’s in Florida will range from $18-$22 to start the week and will likely settle in at $18 by the weekend. Both Mexico and Florida should support strong berry promotions by the second week of December.
We have seen very little change in the overall blueberry market and this week should be no different. Demand has been good as holiday promotions kept fruit moving through the system. We have started to see a decline in arrivals from Peru and Argentina, but Chile is now sending peak volumes to the US market. Mexico is also in play, but volumes are not significant enough to impact the market. Spot market pricing on pints currently ranges from $16-$22 with the mostly market at $18-$20. There is almost no demand for 6oz flats with only food service taking that pack style. FOB’s for 6oz range from $12-$14. There has been steady demand for organic fruit this season and we should see that continue through the balance of the year. FOB’s on organics range from $16-$18 with the mostly market at $17 on a 6oz flat.