Posts Tagged “California grape shipments”
Fewer table grapes remain in storage in California than at the same time during the previous two seasons, according to a USDA report.
There were 9.3 million boxes in storage as of Sepember 30, according to the Western Fruit Report Grape Cold Storage Summary. This compares with 10.4 million boxes on the same date last year, and 12.9 million boxes in 2018.
The Scarlet Royal variety had the highest number of grapes in storage with 2.2 million boxes – 50 percent of the 2018 figure and 1 million below 2019. The next biggest variety was Autumn King. But unlike Scarlet Royal, the storage numbers of this variety on September 30 have been showing an upward trend over the last three years, with 1.7 million boxes this year compared with 1 million in 2018.
The next two largest varietal categories – ‘other white’ and ‘other red’ – have both seen downward trends over the last three years, now registering 1.5 and 1.4 million boxes respectively. Alison and Red Globe have also been declining, while Sweet Globe has been rising.
California table grapes are in full swing for 2020 with fruit shipping a little faster than previous seasons and following slightly lower volumes in the Coachella Valley.
Grape shippers are looking at what it considers a new normal volume for 2020. The two major grape-producing regions of the state, the Coachella and San Joaquin Valleys ship 99 percent of the nation’s commercially grown table grapes.
The transition between the Coachella and San Joaquin Valleys was smooth with the demand likely a reflection of shorter volumes from the Coachella Valley and Mexico and excellent San Joaquin Valley fruit quality.
The California Table Grape Commission estimates 104.9 million 19-pound boxes will be shipped this year. This means the 2020 estimate is the same volume as was harvested in 2019.
This season there will be a few new table grape varieties, even if their availability doesn’t impact volume all that much over all. The top 15 varieties harvested in 2019 represented 75 percent of the shipments.
Grapes and stone fruit – grossing about $5400 to Chicago.
California grape shipments have been underway for about three weeks out of the desert area of the Coachella Valley, but that is minor compared to what lies ahead. As the desert volume winds down in early July, the Arvin district gets underway near Bakersfield, followed by the primary loadings in the central San Joaquin Valley.
The 2020 forecast is for 106.5 million boxes, which is up on 2019’s 104.8m boxes, but below the three-year average of 109.5 million boxes.
Availability from the main growing region in California, the Central Valley, will crank up in mid-July.
Meanwhile, the grape season in Mexico will soon be winding down, with overall shipments to be off about 20 percent from last year with estimates for 2020 at 19.7 million boxes.
There was an overlap of shipments from Mexico and the early district in Coachella.
California grape shipments in the fall of 2018 were up 11.2 percent from September through December compared to the previous year. A similar pattern is expected again as we close out this year.
Sunview Marketing International of Delano, CA credits a lot of this good volume to the firm’s mix of proprietary varieties.
Sun Pacific of Pasadena, CA notes their company has 19 varieties of grapes for shipping as they enter the fall. The operation has growing volume with organic grapes.
The official estimate for California grape shipments was adjusted downward from 116 million boxes to 110 million boxes. However, some observers believe the final packout could be even lower.
Top Brass Marketing of Bakersfield, CA cites excellent volume this season and does not believe loadings have been lagging as they were last year. The company sees the seasonal decline in shipments of cherries, stone fruit and melons as helping grapes take center stage from September through November.
San Joaquin Valley grapes – grossing about $6300 to New York City.
Shipments of California grape shipments are off about 8 percent from last season, but average per-pound prices for the major varieties are the same.
The USDA reports California had shipped 462.25 million pounds of grapes through August 24, compared to 503.41 million pounds at the same time a year ago. With the arrival of fall shipments, it is unlikely this year’s volumes will approach those of last season during the fall.
The California Table Grape Commission of Fresno reports California grape shippers set a record for most shipments from September 8 through October 12, 2018, moving more than 23 million boxes during the five-week period.
San Joaquin Valley vegetables, melons and grapes – grossing about $6700 to New York City.
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.
Initial Florida strawberry shipments got underway with the arrival of December and a good, quality crop is being reported.
Well-Pict Inc. of Watsonville, CA, also grows strawberries in Wimauma, south of Tampa, and will continue to ship strawberries from there until mid- to late March.
The Florida Strawberry Growers Association Inc. in Dover, FL predicts the state will have about 10,000 acres of strawberries this season.
Astin Strawberry Exchange of Plant City, FL has increased its organic berries this season, and similar to conventional berries, should have good volume the first half of December, peak shipments taking place from late January until mid-March. Heaviest volume for the company occurs during February. Astin’s organic production is up 40 percent, while conventional volume has increased by 10 percent. The company expects to ship 6 million flats this season.
California grape shipments and how long they will last has importers in a quandry.
Vanguard International USA, Inc. of Issaquah, WA reports if the quality of California table grapes hold up, the harvest could last until the end of the year, with shipments lasting into January. At the same time Vanguard points out Peru’s global grape shipments were up 40 percent year-on-year to 3.4 million boxes as of October 31st. But U.S. buyers will stick with California grapes as long as the quality is there.
Meanwhile, the California industry set a new 5-year record shipping 23 million boxes worldwide between September 8th and October 12th.
Pandol Bros. Inc. of Delano, CA believes the total California crop might even be 10 million more boxes than 2017. Pandol noted in 2017, late season grape shipments were disappointing because there were so many cold storages full of aging grapes. There are some concerns this year over a repeat of last season.
Pandol reports most retailers are planning to transition to Peruvian grapes later this season, which would be in January, instead of the second half of December. The company also observed retailers know the ports can be problematic around the Christmas and New Year holidays and the logistics of trucking from California are more reliable.
Chile’s table grapes have been hit by a recent hail storm, but the extent of damage is yet to be assessed. It is expected that the bad weather has slashed the walnut crop in half, while the cherry crop could have up to $100 million in losses.
California grape shipments got off to a slow start last spring for a number of reasons, but excellent volume and quality with not shipping gaps are seen through Thanksgiving.
Fruit Royale of Dinuba, CA describes the season as now being “off to the races.” There was a small overlap with Mexico, which slowed the start of the California grape shipments, plus hot weather in August slowed coloring of red and black grapes.
King Fresh Produce Inc. of Dinuba, CA, has estimated that California will ship 120 million cartons of fresh table grapes this season, 10 percent increase over the 109 million cartons shipped in 2017. This includes heavy volume with red, red, green and black grapes through Thanksgiving.
Chuck Olsen Co. of Visalia, CA, sees a crop of 110 million to 114 million cartons being shipped and is pleased with overall fruit quality and a good set.
Olsen explained that the natural shatter, which is a self-thinning process, was excellent this year producing large, loose grape bunches. “We have the makings of a very nice crop that is eating very well.”
Jasmine Vineyards Inc. of Delano, CA, also sees the San Joaquin Valley as being excellent, with uninterrupted supplies well into December. Although there was a slow start to the season, shipments picked up nicely in mid-August and peak loadings should continue into latter October.
Grapeman Farms, which markets it grapes through Stevco of Los Angeles is equally optimistic. It has reported quality as “phenomenal,” dispite a lot of hot weather in July and August, However, the growing season leading up to harvest was been perfect.
San Joaquin Valley grapes – grossing about $4100 to Dallas.
Mangoes from Mexico, as well as grapes from California are expected to provide excellent volume shipments this year.
Imported Mexican mangoes by U.S. importers got off to an early season start this year and is expected to follow the normal volume increases associated with spring.
Between 3 and 4 million boxes of Mexican mangoes have been crossing the border during April.
Another season of record-breaking volume with peak supplies from southern Mexico that started this month is expected to continue into mid-May as the harvest shifts to more northern regions, such as Nayarit and Sinaloa, from mid-June through August.
Importers such as Ciruli Bros, LLC of Rio Rico, AZ and Jade Produce LLC of Mission, TX have been experiencing excellent volume mango shipments to U.S. markets.
Imported Mexican mango shipments from late March to the week of May 14 should be 16 percent higher than last year, with 49 million boxes in 2018 compared to 42 million boxes a year ago.
Besides Mexico, there also are imported mangoes from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Haiti during the spring. The Peruvian season finished in early April, and the Costa Rican season end the last half of April.
The Mexican season started in January and runs until October. The Nicaraguan season got underway in mid-March and ran until the last week of April. The Guatemalan season was launched in March and should run through the end of May. The Haitian season started the third week of April and will run until September.
Since the 2012 California grape shipments have exceeded 100 million boxes each season and 2018 is expected to be no different. In fact, 100 million – plus boxes is almost taken for granted these days.
California grape shipments totaled 109.1 million boxes during the 2017 season, which runs from May through January. In 2016, the industry shipped 110 million boxed of table grapes.
California typically begins with grapes from the Coachella Valley in early May, before transitioning to the Arvin area of Bakersfield in early June, with the remainder of the season involving much of the San Joaquin Valley.
Favorable weather across much of the United States is resulting in good loading opportunities for pumpkins and other fall items. Meanwhile an update on California grape shipments shows the best is yet to come.