Market Update For Berries

Week of October 26 – November 1

Mild and clear weather throughout the strawberry growing regions of California have kept some shippers in-play longer than expected.  Watsonville, Santa Maria and Oxnard are all packing fruit with production ranging from 500k-650k flats per day. Cool temperatures in the high 60’s and low 70’s have helped improve overall quality and condition. We could see California production remain at these levels until the first major rain event, but for now there seems to be just enough fruit to meet daily demand. Overall demand has flattened-out over the past two weeks as average national retail hovers around 3.99/lb. Crossings from Mexico are increasing day by day, although overall production is still not enough to impact the spot market. Crossings have averaged 30-60K flats per day and we should see those numbers top 200K flats by the middle of November.  With only fair retail demand, expect very little change in the spot market this week. Look for FOB pricing on California fruit to range from $14-$18 with the mostly market at $16.  Mexican marketers are looking for a premium with FOB’s ranging form $18-$22 with the mostly market at $20. The better-quality fruit looks to be from Mexico, but there is just not enough volume for major retail to take advantage. 

Blueberries

The industry has been dealing with very light supplies of imported blueberries over the past 4 weeks, but that trend looks to change as we head to November. Peruvian growers have been harvesting peak production over the past 2 weeks and import numbers entering the US market will take a jump over the next 7-10 days. Spot market FOB’s finally softened a bit last week and we might see pricing adjust lower again this week. Most retailers have good promotions in place for the month of November and it looks as if the supply will be in place to support those ads. Pints are currently ranging from $28-$32 with the mostly market falling back to $28 heading into the weekend. We can expect the pint market to start out at $28 and possibly adjust to $26 by the first full week of November. 6oz blues are trading from $18-$22 with the mostly market at $20. Organic supplies continue to be lighter than expected as volumes from Mexico are still not impacting the market. The spot market for organics has held firm ranging from $28-$32, but we can expect pricing to adjust lower in November as more volumes from Peru, Chile and Mexico become available.