It’s been a slow start for grape shipments this season, whether from Mexico, the Coachella Valley, or in the interest of today’s report, the Bakersfield, CA area.
However, in the Bakersfield (sometimes referred to as the Arvin District) area the heat has kicked in and expected to continue for a while with mid 90s temperatures this week, before moving into triple digits.
Depending on the shipper, table grape shipments are starting any day now, or some may not get going until the second week of July.
As of the end of April, This year’s California grape shipments were estimated at 116.2 million 19-pound boxes. Last year’s total was 115.5 million boxes. The next estimate will be released in late July.
Crown Jewel Produce Co. LLC of Fresno, CA typically starts shipping the last week of June, but is nearly 2 weeks late this year from its Bakersfield vineyards.
Anthony Vineyards of Bakersfield starts its domestic shipments every year out of Coachella, which had one of the coldest Februarys and Marches on record, pushing the desert crop back. Coachella typically finishes in early July, but this year is still shipping, although with 110 degree days now are common, and will be wrapping up soon.
Last year Anthony Vineyards got underway in Bakersfield June 23rd, but this year will be 10 days to 2 weeks later. In fact, for a short time grape loadings will be occurring both out of Coachella and Bakersfield.
Fruit Royale Inc. of Delano, CA will start grape shipments soon after the 4th of July with flames, sugraones and summer royals.
King Fresh Produce LLC of Dinuba, CA, is expecting heavy shipments of California grapes the rest of the season, which usually extends into December.
“It’s not going to be conducive to a high-priced market,” Wilson said.
“That gives some of the earlier districts a little time to clean up,” he said.