Good volume berry shipments are expected from U.S. shippers the rest of the summer and a huge volume increase is in the forecast for imported Peruvian blueberries.
In early July, California strawberry shippers had moved over 105 million trays, compared to 121.4 million trays at the same time a year ago. Rain during the winter and spring followed by a heatwave the second week of June had California strawberry loadings running below last year’s numbers.
Besides strawberries there are other competing fruit shipments ranging from cherries, to stone fruit and melons.
Gourmet Tranding Co. of Los Angeles reports domestic blueberry shipments should remain strong for at least the next couple of months, continuing through September. However, domestic “blues” are expected to have some strong competition from Peruvian blueberry imports, which is seen increasing as much as 50 percent over a year ago. Those imports begin in August and continue through January and possibly into February.
The vast majority of domestic blueberry shipments during the summer are originating out of Michigan, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. All of these areas are reporting good crops.
Other Berry Shipments
Summertime means peak shipments for domestic raspberries and blackberries. A hot spell in California during June did not have as severe an impact on raspberries as it did on strawberries.
California raspberry shipments should continue into mid-November out of Watsonville. Razz loadings will then transition to Ventura County, before switching to Mexico for the winter.
California Giant Berry Farms of Watsonville will be shipping California raspberries until late September or early October before shifting to Mexico.