Posts Tagged “California fruit”
Some winters Chilean grape imports are flooding U.S. markets the first half of January, but pretty much hit a stone wall this year as we entered 2019. That is now changing as shipments of California grapes are in big volume declines as the season concludes.
There was still a lot of California fruit in U.S. markets during December — a whopping 55 percent more California grapes in cold storage in mid-December 2018 vs. mid-December 2017. As a result, Chile has been shipping less to North America and more to Asia.
Through mid December 10,575 tons of Chilean grapes were shipped to North America, compared to 29,000 at the same time last year. Through the end of December, 71 percent of all Chilean grape exports went to North America.
Chilean grape exports started slowly, but have picked up gradually this year. Overall, Chile reports good volumes of grapes for this season and will be exporting product through the current season.
Total global exports of Chilean grapes through the end of December reached 15,419 tons, which was a “significant decline” from the 31,000 tons of a year earlier, according to the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association.
Chile stepped up shipments to the U.S. by early January, however, with the remaining California inventory having dissipated, Brux said, dropping to 1.5 million cases at the end of the year, according to a recent market report.
“Now that January has arrived and much of the California inventory has cleared, we’ll start to see increased volumes, along with big retail promotions, for Chilean grapes in North America,” she said.
As of the first week in January, harvesting was primarily in the Coquimbo region (IV), with the Valparaiso (V) region starting, Brux said.
The largest shipment of Chilean winter fruit so far this season arrived at the Port of Wilmington Dec. 27. The shipment contained more than 676,000 boxes of fresh table grapes, peaches, nectarines, apricots, and plums, Brux said. The third bulk reefer was scheduled to arrive the second week of January.
Grape volume from the Copiapó region likely will exceed 10 million boxes this season. The largest volumes from that region were to be harvested from December through mid-January, with late varieties finishing by the first week in March.
North America is the largest market for Chilean grapes, taking in 47% of all Chilean grape exports in 2017-18, Brux said.
Bill Poulos, grape category director for the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer Group, said he expects volumes this year to match year-earlier figures.
“We anticipate red and green grape volumes to be fairly similar to last year, as fortunately the (Nov. 12) hailstorm largely spared Chile’s grape-growing regions,” he said. “With new varieties coming into North America, we expect higher overall volumes in April and May than in the past. This steady supply picture is emerging despite the decline in the flame variety in Northern Chile.”
New varieties will have noticeably higher volumes, said Fernando Soberanes, director of operations for South America with Los Angeles-based Giumarra Cos.
“We expect to see increased production of proprietary grape varieties out of Chile as they continue to gain popularity in the market,” he said. “In general, volumes of traditional grape varieties are declining out of Chile in favor of newer varieties. The decline is heavier toward the early-season varieties than the late varieties, so we will see smaller volumes coming in at the onset of the season and heavier volumes toward the end.”
Potential loads for cherries have taken a hit in the Northwest due to an April frost and heavy May rains.
Estimates are now at 17 million boxes, down from 18.6 million boxes.
Loadings will be adversely affected the most on early varieties like chelans and early bings.
Caution is urged when you are at the loading dock and be on the look out for splitting in cherries and other issues.
Shipments are underway, but expected to be lighter than normal. Volume should be decent within a couple of weeks for deliveries to retailers for the Fourth of July holiday. Good volume and much better quality is seen during the month of July.
California cherry shipments are on the downside and this should result in good demand for fruit available in the Northwest, especially with its current light volume.
Hood River cherry shipments in Oregon are expected to start around July 15th and should continue through August. Good volume and quality are forecast.
California’s Watsonville district should have good strawberry volume for shipments leading up to the Fourth of July holiday. The same can be said for stone fruit loadings originating out of the San Joaquin Valley.
New Jersey Blueberries
New Jersey’s blueberry shipments should start this week with good volume heading into the Fourth of July. Good quality should reduce your chances of claims or rejected loads.
Georgia Sweet Corn
Georgia sweet corn loadings, along with a number of mixed vegetables should make for good loading opportunities. There’s also Fort Valley peaches and Vidalia onions. Quality on all these items is now generally good.
South Georgia mixed vegetables – grossing about $3200 to Boston.
San Joaquin Valley stone fruit – grossing about $6900 to Atlanta.