Posts Tagged “California grape shipments”

Remaining California Table Grape Loadings More in Line with Last Season

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While the amount of California grapes in storage on the West Coast was significnantly higher than the precious two seasons, the figure has now come down and is much closer to last year.

As of Oct. 31 there were 11.3 million boxes of inventories according to the USDA’s Grape Cold Storage Summary. This is up 8% from the 10.5 million boxes recorded at the same time last year. 

The figure is also down 17% from the 13.7 million boxes registered at the end of October in 2020. 

By contrast, at the end of September there were there were 10.9 million boxes in storage, which was up 18% over the figure recorded at the same point in the 2021 and 2020 seasons.

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Central California Grape Shipments Now Full Swing

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California’s Central San Joaquin Valley grape shipments started last month and high quality with steady loadings are seen with volume similar to 2021. April’s initial crop estimate forecast 95 million, 19-pound boxes.

Top Brass Marketing of Bakersfield, CA expressed excitement about this season’s central valley grape season.

Grapeman Farms of Los Angeles began picking right after the 4th of July holiday, starting with a couple different varieties. It has ramped up over the following weeks, getting into peak shipments in August.

California table grape season traditionally runs May through January, with the southern Coachella district getting the early season start.

Fowler Packing of Fresno, CA, opened the table grape season in mid-July with Flames, and had all three colors going by August 1st. It hit peak production the middle of August and will carry that all the way through October into the middle of November. Fowler’s brand, Samsons, will end the season with Allisons and Autumn Kings, wrapping up just before Christmas.

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With Mexico Finished, Focus is on Grape Shipments from California

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The Mexican grape shipping season wrapped up in early July and the Arvin District (Bakersfield), started with light volume shortly after the Fourth of July.

For example the Markon Cooperative of Salinas, CA started shipping California-grown grapes when its Mexican supplies came to an end July 10.

California-grown green seedless supplies and red seedless grapes started with a few days of each other.

Volume had quickly ramped up by mid July with good quality.

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Four Star Fruit has Started Grape Shipments from Arvin District

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Delano, California — Four Star Fruit is a premier grower of year-round conventional and organic table grapes, committed to innovation and sustainable farming. The company forecasts an increase in red, green, and black grapes this year during the California season. Four Star recently started harvest in the most southern region of Arvin.

“We are excited to add both conventional and organic acreage to our portfolio in the Southern Valley of California,” said Doug Rossi, sales executive of Four Star Fruit. “The increased volume of production with help our retail partners transition smoothly into the season.”

The California table grape season is following the lead of the Mexican production, resulting in increased volume and movement after a tough import season. The current weather in Southern California has been mild, creating the ideal environment for the fruit to develop, resulting in exceptional eating quality for consumers this summer.

To learn more about Four Star Fruit, visit their website at

About Four Star Fruit, Inc.

Four Star Fruit, Inc. has been in table grape production since 1987, family-owned and operated for three generations by the Campbell family. Its fields are located throughout the San Joaquin and Coachella Valleys, as well as Mexico. Four Star Fruit, Inc. provides several grape varieties, including its trademarked Pristine®. Four Star caters to all customers, offering both conventional and organic table grapes.

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Significantly Fewer U.S. Table Grapes Remain in Storage for Shipping

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Significantly fewer California table grapes remain to be shipped from storage on the West Coast compared to this time last year, according to USDA report.

The Western Fruit Report – Grape Cold Storage Summary states there were over 2 million fewer cartons being held.

There were 7 million cartons in storage on November 30, compared to 9.2 million cartons on the same date in 2020.

The storage numbers on Nov. 30, 2019 were also higher than this year, but down from last year at 7.9 million cartons.

The most recent figure for this year is much lower than the 10.5 million cartons registered on November 15.

Compared to the same date in 2020, the biggest changes in terms of specific varietals are seen in:

  • Autumn Royal – 254,000 (down from 259,000 last year)
  • Autumn King – 2.5 million (down from 2.8 million)
  • Allison  – 1.4 million (down from 2.3 million)
  • Scarlet Royal – 243,000 (down from 303,000)
  • Red Globe – 206,000 (up from 46,000)
  • Timco – 95,000 (down from 195,000)
  • Great Green – 2,000 (down from 50,000)
  • Other White category – 252,000 (up from 192,000)
  • Other Red category – 416,000 (down from 1.5 million)
  • Other Black category – 216,000 (down from 491,000)

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California Grape Shipments to Continue Through December

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Fresno, CA – With good volume of California grapes available through December, shipments are predicted to continue through year-end in the U.S., and in Canada, Mexico, and other key export markets, according to Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission.

According to Nave the 2021 crop volume has been tracking close to that of 2020 for most of the season.  The 2020 crop volume was 101.1 million 19-pound boxes with 20 million boxes shipped after November 15. 

Noting that harvest is still underway in some areas, Nave said that in a typical season California ships grapes throughout the U.S. and to multiple export markets into January and this year looks to be no different.    

“The U.S. is a good market for California grapes,” Nave said, “and even better this season in terms of demand and price than it has been in recent years.”  Noting that the U.S. retail commitment to stick with California through December – as opposed to focusing on imported grapes –  remains strong, Nave added that Canada, Mexico, and Central America have all been particularly good markets this season with exports to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan steady, in spite of the worldwide shipping issues.       


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California Grape Shippers Look to Strong Finish; But Some Quality Issues May Exist

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Good, consistent shipments of California table grapes are predicted well into December, although there are some concerns quality issues may arise.

While Pandol Bros. Inc. of Delano, CA doesn’t see any big gaps in supply for the rest of the California grape season, there is some angst regarding labor shortages at both the grower and retail level, which could have some negative consequences on movement.

At the farm level, farmers with too much of one variety maturing at the same time could be hard-pressed to pick the fruit in top condition if they don’t have sufficient labor.

From the retail end, Pandol reports some retail stores have a shortage of labor at the produce department level. If retailers don’t rotate grapes in the right way, then repeat purchases could suffer.

A retail clerk may stock the grape display in the morning, but if that display isn’t stocked again before the rush house, impulse purchases may be at risk.

Still, Pandol sees the outlook for strong California grape shipments with only slight variations from projected volume likely.

Columbine Vineyards, Delano, CA reports California grapes got off to a great early season start, but in mid season there were too many green grapes based on an accelerated harvest due to weather, and at the same time there were not enough reds. 

Looking ahead, Columbine Vineyards sees good volume with the red seedless varieties, and continued good volume with green grapes.

While the crop has good volume, the company is concerned about export logistics, materials cost, labor costs and water scarcity.

Exports may be down this year because of troublesome logistics at ports.

About 30% of California grapes typically go to export markets, and strong demand for air and vessel capacity has made exports more difficult.

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Central California Grape Shipments Moving into Good Volume

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Pandol Bros. of Delano, CA reports the central California table grape harvest has been underway since early July, with three to five percent production harvested and one percent shipped.

While there has been a gradual reduction of area planted due to changes in water regulation, production is staying stable with higher yields from the acres planted.

Production is seeing a “normal harvest flow” with the halfway mark expected sometime in September and the end either in November or December, depending on the first freeze.

Shipping will reach halfway in late September and two to four percent of the crop will be shipped in 2022.

The cost of both ocean freight rates and inland truck freight rates are reported much higher than in the past.

Trucking is seeing a lack of drivers and there is a two to four-month wait for a trained, drug-tested driver to get an appointment for a licensing test. 

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Organic Thomcord Grapes are now Being Shipped from Fruit World

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REEDLEY, CA — Fruit World, a family-owned, grower-shipper of organic and conventional fruit and the largest California grower of organic Thomcord grapes, started shipping this popular variety at the end of July, with good volumes available from mid-August through early-October. Thomcord seedless grapes are a hybrid of Concord and Thompson Seedless grapes, with the rich, full Concord flavor and the tender skin and seedless qualities of the Thompson.

Seven years since planting, Fruit World’s Thomcord vines are now fully mature and heavy with luscious purple clusters. “The recent warm weather in California’s Central Valley is rapidly increasing the color and brix, so we’ll begin harvesting 7-10 days earlier than last year,” said CJ Buxman, co-founder of Fruit World.

Fruit World Thomcord grapes are shipped in 10 x 2 lb recyclable and compostable paper totes, with bright, colorful graphics. The company will also be shipping 20 x 1 lb clamshells.

In 2020, Fruit World shipped their organic Thomcord grapes across the United States, in addition to air freighting to customers in Asia. “While we anticipate this year’s crop to be heavier than in 2020, last year we sold out in mid-September,” Brianca Kaprielian, co-founder of Fruit World added. “We encourage retailers to contact us early to confirm their orders and meet the high consumer demand for this popular variety.”

In 2020, Fruit World shipped their organic Thomcord grapes across the United States, in addition to air freighting to customers in Asia. “While we anticipate this year’s crop to be heavier than in 2020, last year we sold out in mid-September,” Kaprielian added. 

About Fruit World:
Fruit World is a fresh produce company with generations of history. Fruit World grows and ships the most flavorful fruit in California—including organic and conventional citrus, organic grapes, organic stone fruit, and more.

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More California Grapes Remain to be Shipped Than Last Season at This Time

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There are more U.S. table grapes remaining in storage to be shipped than last year, following an increase in volumes of Autumn King and Allison over the last few weeks.

There were 13.7 million boxes in storage as of October 31, according to the USDA’s latest Western Fruit Report Grape Cold Storage Summary. That figure represents a sharp increase from the 11.1 million boxes registered in mid October and a slight rise above the 13.2 million from this time last year.

The increase in the second half of October this year was in part due to the Autumn King variety, whose volumes rose from 2.3 million boxes to 4.7 million.

At the end of October 2019 there were 3.6 million boxes of Autumn King. In addition, volumes of the Allison variety have increased substantially, growing over the second half of October from 582,000 boxes to 2.2 million.

The new figure remains below the 2.5 million recorded at this time last year. As of the end of October in the bumper 2018 season, there were a total of 18.1 million boxes in storage.

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