Posts Tagged “cherry shipments”

Keeping It Fresh: Pacific Northwest Cherry Crop 2022 – What to Expect

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By Lisa Towner, ALC Portland

Cherry season is right around the corner. The Pacific Northwest cherry season typically begins in early June and continues until late August.

A typical season will see 20-25 million boxes of cherries harvested in Oregon and Washington. Cherries are generally picked, chilled, and loaded onto a truck within 24-48 hours. Peak season usually coincides with the 4th of July. Many refrigerated carriers across the country plan their loads around cherry season every year.

April 2022 saw record low temperatures in Washington and Oregon. A cold spring brings many obstacles for local cherry growers. Several publications have predicted cherries to start later and the crop to be smaller than usual. Some predict the overall crop will be between 20% and 35% smaller than in the previous five years.

The Seattle Times warned that a cool April will also affect bees, as they struggle to pollinate the cherry blossoms. Less fruit available will also mean each box will have increased value due to basic supply and demand. This is a stark contrast to what growers were facing last year. In April 2021, the Pacific Northwest saw record high temperatures that reduced the cherry crop by 20%, according to Fruit Growers News.

Overall, many growers remain optimistic as the season approaches. Delayed cherry harvest in some growing regions may extend the season, which could be profitable for cherry producers in the Pacific Northwest. Most growers agree that the fruit will be high quality and ready for consumers to enjoy in the first few weeks of June.

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Lisa Towner began her career with the Allen Lund Company as a transportation broker in 2002. She was promoted to assistant manager in the Portland office in 2015. In 2022, Towner was promoted to manager ALC Portland. Her transportation career began back in 2000 when she worked at the corporate headquarters for a national LTL company. 

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A Look at Loading Opportunities in the Weeks Ahead

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Here’s a glimpse at hauling availability now and in coming weeks for cherries, watermelons and berries

California cherry volume is low. Although this gorgeous looking and tasting fruit makes up only one percent of total volume in produce shipments, it’s one of the highest paying freight items for produce haulers.

The cost for a 16-pound case of cherries started the season in California at a whopping $58 per case, the highest in 7 years. U.S. cherry shipments get underway in late April and wraps up at the end of August. Traditionally, peak loadings occur in July before gradually decreasing. The United States is the 2nd largest producer of cherries in the world after Turkey.

The California cherry season is just the warm up for an action-packed 16 weeks, and is a prelude to big time shipper, the state of Washington.

Lime, Lemon Shipments

Mexico has experienced an abnormally wet and cold winter in Tabasco, the leading lime growing region. Shippers also report high freight rates also is contributing to the availability of limes. Lime volume is expected to remain lower than normal at least through June.

While cherry volume is limited right now, watermelons are in plentiful supply.

As an example, a 40,000-pound truckload of cherries is valued at $174,000. The same weight in watermelons is only worth $4,800!

Blueberry shipments are finally increasing as domestic U.S. production rises and are less reliant on imports to meet blueberry demand. Domestic blueberry shipping regions are ramping up as they head toward peak loadings from June to August.

Blackberry volumes also are on the upswing with increasing production in the Baja California, Mexico, and California. While raspberries are coming out of those same regions volume remains relatively low.

As for strawberries, volume and quality have been all over the board in recent weeks. Shipments are expected to be building and should continue through June.

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U.S. Cherry Shipments from the Northwest Coming to a Close Soon

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Cherry shipments from the Northwestern United States have been remarkable this season, but will seasonally come to a close this month.

Loadings are expected to end up around the 22 million, 20 pound equivalent boxes this season, not that much below the 25.4 million boxes a year ago. Although last season was a good quality crop, this year it is marked not only by beauty and taste, but exceptionally large sized fruit.

While there has been a lot of concern over Trump Administration tariff issues with China, exports represented 33 percent of the volume this season. The cherry industry was at best only hoping for 30 percent. A nice surprise.

Stemilt Growers of Wenatchee, WA reports overall, fruit quality is really really high and with great sizing.

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Heavy NW Cherry Shipments Are Expected into Early August

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A345By The Northwest Cherry Growers

As the last of our mid-season shippers wind down their business for the year, the bulk of cherry shipments are shifting to the later producing regions.  Packing lines are running around the clock as our industry gears up to finish the season in August with strong promotable volume for the next several weeks.

The 2018 shipped crop to date (in 20-pound box equivalents) stands at  19,473,061 million boxes.

Strong cherry shipments from the Northwest are expected, lead by Washington state, through July and into at least early August.

Since July 1st, the Northwest cherry industry has maintained an average of 529,491 boxes (20-pound) shipped per day, which has increased by a daily average of 9,000 boxes since this time last week.  Two days ago on July 17th, was the 30th day in a row of shipments since we first shipped more than a half-million boxes of cherries in a day this season.  The daily average for that 30-day period is 561,422 boxes daily.

In the past, we’ve reported on the number of days in row that our collective industry shipments exceeded 500,000 boxes on average.  Sundays typically see lower shipment volumes than the other 6 days, so an average is a fair calculation of the overall pace of the industry.  Our several days of exceptionally high volumes in June, however, make the count for this year a bit misleading.  By the traditional math,  June 17th was the 39th day in a row feeding into that cumulative daily (500K) average.  But working backwards, that string of daily averages takes us all the way back to the 8th day of shipping this season, when shipments for the day totaled 216,000 boxes.  No matter the math though, I think we can agree that it’s a lot of fruit.  Likewise, many shippers continue to run double shifts just to keep up with the demand for the especially dark, extra sweet late-season cherries our industry is shipping right now.

Washington cherries – grossing about $4700 to Chicago.

 

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Strong Volume is Underway for Rainier Cherries in Washington

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A38by Stemilt Growers

WENATCHEE, Wash. – Stemilt’s Rainier cherry shipments are rolling out of Washington State.  Volume was good for Fourth of July deliveries and a similar situation exists for the July 11th National Rainier Cherry Day celebration.

Stemilt has strong volumes of Rainier cherries in 2018, with conventional Rainiers even with last year’s volume and organic Rainiers up 50 percent. Organic Rainiers make up a small share of the overall Rainier crop.  According to Stemilt marketing director Roger Pepperl, Rainier size and quality for conventional and organic fruit is exceptional this season.

“The color is stunning on Rainiers this season with great size and that classic, overwhelming sweetness that shoppers seek out,” said Pepperl.

Stemilt’s Rainier cherries are in season for two months and with heaviest volume being for the weeks of June 25, July 2nd, and July 9th.

A Stemilt Fruit Tracker™ analysis of Nielsen scan data during the past three cherry seasons shows Rainier cherries account for nearly 13.5 percent of cherry category shipments on average in the U.S. during their three-week peak in late June to mid-July. Rainier shipments are highest in the Western region throughout the season, and especially in the peak weeks.

Organic Rainier cherries are a niche item, but one that Stemilt has grown with purpose for decades.

“The organic category is booming, and fruits and vegetables are leading that growth,” said Pepperl.

Decades ago, Stemilt led the industry in creating a market for Rainier cherries.  At the time, Rainiers were primarily pollenizers for Bing cherries, but emerging new sell-pollinating dark-sweet cherries reduced that need.  Stemilt founder Tom Mathison saw the potential for a second, and very sweet, cherry and began farming Rainiers on a large-scale. Today, West Mathison, Stemilt president and Tom’s grandson, guides the company in growing large, sweet, and dessert-flavored Rainier cherries.

About Stemilt

Stemilt Growers is a leading tree fruit growing, packing and shipping company based in Wenatchee, Washington. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt is the leading shipper of sweet cherries and one of the nation’s largest suppliers of organic tree fruits.

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Western States Cherry Shipments; Eastern Shore is Moving Vegetables

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DSCN9486Some Western cherry shipments are finished, but the Northwest cherry crop is coming on….Meanwhile, the Eastern Shore of  Maryland, Virginia and Delaware is underway with vegetables.

California cherry shipments are ending up at nearly 9 million, 18-pound boxes, which would exceed the 8.7 million-box-record loadings in 2008.  It may very well be California’s best and largest sweet cherry season ever as Washington state’s harvest gets underway.  Hollister, CA finished about a week ago.

Last year California finished with 5.1 million boxes after losing about 3 million boxes to rain.

California’s cherry industry has had many disappointments in recent years due to rain or heat.  Inadequate winter chill led to poor fruit set in 2014 and a crop of just 2.7 million boxes.  And 2005 and 2006 were at 3 million boxes or less.

California shipments averaged 250,000 boxes per day between May 5 and June 4, with a peak of 377,000 boxes on May 23.

About 70 percent of California’s crop was shipped to all regions of the U.S. and 9.4 percent to Canada, 9 percent to South Korea and the balance to Japan, China, Hong Kong and a few others.

Pacific Northwest Cherry Shipments

Pacific Northwest cherry shipments are forecast at 22.7 million boxes with Washington cherry shipments accounting 81 percent of  it.   The Northwest counts by 22-pound boxes and California by 18-pound boxes.

The Washington harvest began with the Chelan variety at Doebler Orchard near Mattawa on June 6.

It was a limited run for the first cherries, but packing cranked up about June 15 as more orchards started picking.

Yakima Valley apple and pear shipments – grossing about $4500 to Dallas.

Eastern Shore Vegetable Shipments

All packing sheds on the Eastern Shore were running as of yesterday.

Fresh potato shipments are particularly good for Canada this season with reds, russets and yellows being shipped from areas of the Eastern Shore.  However, the majority of potatoes are shipped throughout the Northeast when those areas are not producing.

The largest russet grower on the Eastern Shore is Yaros Farms in Lower Northampton County.  Dublin Farms in Horntown is one of Virginia’s biggest potato  operations.  It ships 12 to 15 loads daily from late June through mid-August.

When the southern states stop shipping, loadings are redirected there. Depending on the volume from Canadian potatoes from year to year, the Eastern Shore also distributes into in Canada.

There typically is between 3,000 and 4,000 acres of potatoes grown on the Eastern Shore.

C&E Farms in Cheriton, VA, is one of the largest green bean operations in the nation.  C&E Farms also ships green beans from North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida. The company has packing facilities in Cheriton and in Parrish, FL.

Virginia’s three major tomato operations, Lipman Family Farms, Pacific Tomato Growers and Del Monte, will be shipping about equal volumes of round, roma, grape, cherry and heirloom tomatoes from late June through September.

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Latest Estimates for NW Cherry Shipments Increases 4 Percent

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DSCN4890by Northwest Cherry Growers

Over 75 growers, shippers and field team leaders from across the Northwest Cherry industry met recently to discuss the 2017 cherry crop.

This collective group meets annually to discuss the developing crop potential across the growing districts within each of the 5 member states, and formulates a crop estimate based on attendee input.  The 5-State estimate is often the most accurate look at the crop as it is in real time, provided by growers who have walked out of their orchards and into this meeting.  It does not, however, take into account the annual field team data model and historical algorithms with which we project the NWC’s 4 rounds of estimates.

The round table estimate for the Northwest 2017 sweet cherry crop is 227,000 metric tons or 22.7 million 20 lb. equivalent boxes.   That estimate would put the coming crop 8% larger than last year’s 20.9 million box season.  This crop projection allows for substantial promotional opportunities (and heavy shipments) all season long – late June through August!

Extended bloom and cool spring weather indicate a longer season, stretching from mid-June through the end of August. for cherry shipments.  The 2017 shipping season should last between 90 and 100 days!   Significant volume into the month of August is anticipated.

According to grower reports, early varieties such as Chelan and Santina are currently on track for similar crops to last season’s record early variety shipments.  This strengthens the expectations that once harvest in the Northwest begins, it should accelerate at a rapid velocity.  The attending group in general expects to see harvest begin in the June 12th to 15th window.  Much of Washington’s Bing acreage didn’t set in 2016, but the orchards have rebounded with a slightly larger than average bloom in response this Spring.  Fruit is well-spread throughout the trees and the regions – which bodes well for timing and quality.

The Northwest Rainier crop (including all yellow-fleshed sub-varieties) is reported as looking strong, with many of the growers estimating increases of 20-25% over last year.  The 2015 and 2016 Rainier crops were strikingly similar, and both finished around 1.8 million 15-pound boxes.  We expect to see plenty of fruit in July this year, including around National Rainier Cherry Day on July 11th.

Washington apple shipments – grossing about $4100 to Chicago.

 

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NW Cherry Shipments Set for June Start; South African Clementine Imports are Coming

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DSCN9478Northwest cherry shipments will get underway next month with more volume expected than usual later in the season.  Meanwhile, South African clementine exports are expected to have good volume this season.
In the first shipping estimate of the year,  21.8 million 20-pound boxes of Northwest cherries are expected.  This is an increase from 20.9 million boxes last year,  but less than the 2014 record crop of 23.2 million boxes.
The first of four cherry shipping estimates set for release this season.  The May 4th crop estimate covers all Northwest growing districts.  Cherry shipments  will begin later than last year, pushing more of the loadings into July and August.

The forecast has 5.2 million boxes of cherries will be shipped in June, 13.3 million boxes in July and 3.3 million boxes in August.  Last year, the Northwest shipped 500,000 boxes in May, 10 million boxes in June, 7.9 million boxes in July and very limited volume in August.

The 2017 estimate includes a strong rainier crop, exceeding the nearly identical 1.7 million box (15-pound) crops of 2015 and 2016.
With bloom running very late this, the estimate said consistent warm weather produced a great bloom across all regions. The earliest growers expect shipments to start during the second week of June, with volume extending through August.

Citrus Imports

The first South African clementines are expected to arrive in the U.S. in late May or early June.  However, California mandarins are expected to ship a little longer this season, into mid-June.

The season for South African mandarins will extend into late September.  South Africa’s late-season mandarins are exceptional, and should start arriving in the U.S. in August.   The heavest volume is expected to start in late June or early July.

A clementine  is a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange and was named such in 1902.] The exterior is a deep orange color with a smooth, glossy appearance.

The mandarin orange, also known as the mandarin or mandarine, is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges.  Mandarins are smaller and oblate, rather than spherical like the common oranges. The taste is considered less sour, as well as sweeter and stronger.

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Washington Apricot Shipments Should Start in Early July; Cherries in June

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by CMI Orchards

DSCN0454+1Wenatchee, WA –  CMI Apricot growers have reported this year’s crop will be coming off the trees later than last year due to a colder spring.  This year’s crop should be harvested around July 2.

The Washington State apricot season is generally short with shipments ending in July.

Although the highly anticipated Washington State grown season of apricots is short (month of July), consumer interest for this delicious and nutritious treat continues to grow.  Versatile and delicious, apricots find many ways into a number of recipes.  Whether sliced in a summer salad, breakfast cereal, adding them to pancake batter, preparing an apricot glazed cooked carrots, or numerous apricot/chicken recipes.

According to George Harter, VP of Marketing for CMI Orchards, “the cool nights and warm daytime temperatures in the Columbia River Valley really help bring out the extra sweet flavor or our apricots.”

Nutritionally, apricots are rich in many ways.  Apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A, 100g providing 64% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).  Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin, and more. Vitamin A, like all antioxidants, is involved in reducing inflammation through fighting free radical damage. Consuming a diet high in antioxidants is a way to naturally slow aging.  Additionally, apricots are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and manganese.

About CMI Orchards

CMI Orchards is one of Washington State’s largest growers, shippers and packers of premium quality apples, pears, cherries, apricots and organics. Based in Wenatchee, WA, CMI Orchards delivers outstanding fruit across the U.S.A. and exports to over 60 countries worldwide.

Washington Cherry Shipments

Spring bloom for both Washington cherries the fast approaching season and apples in the fall for the 2017-18 season are about 10 days behind normal timing and three weeks behind last year

Cherry harvest is expected to begin for the company in mid June.

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Record NW Cherry Shipments Occurring

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DSCN4890by Northwest Cherry Growers

Through July 5th, the Northwest cherry industry has shipped over  15 million boxes (20-pound equivalent), including 13.97 million boxes of dark sweets.  Contributing to that was a June that  finished even larger than predictions, with a total of 12.3 million boxes.  That’s a 3 percent increase over last year’s new record of 11.9 million boxes.

Cherries were everywhere for the 4th of July.  And with more retail ads breaking nationally, momentum for cherry shipments out of the holiday appears to be maintained.  In fact, this July 5th saw more cherry shipments than ever before, topping 2012’s record of 523,000 by another 50,000 boxes.  The 7-day shipment average through the 4th holiday (6/28-7/4) was the second highest on record at 452k boxes, with only 2009’s ultra-compressed season seeing more boxes per day at 505,652.

Total Rainier shipments are just below 1.47 million 15-pound boxes. Rainier shipments per day have decreased from a daily high this season of over 95,000 boxes to a weekly average ending on the 5th of 17,000 per day.  However, beautiful cherries remain in some orchards and shipments of yellow cherries will continue to trickle out to displays worldwide.

A study performed by the Nielsen Perishables Group in 2014 found the biggest factor behind a late-season purchase decision by a consumer was, in fact, the awareness that it was the “late season” for cherries… Put another way, roughly 1 out of 3 cherry buyers don’t make their first purchase until they realize it’s their LAST CHANCE TO BUY CHERRIES FOR THE SEASON.

Top retailers each season use that to their advantage, and communicate the late season opportunity by communicating that at the shelf level.  Participants in the North American in-store radio program will be hearing the switch from trivia & Holiday related ads to Buy Now, Freeze Now messaging to support multiple-unit sales. For those with an NWCG Promotional Ad Program in place, promotions are available for circular-inclusion of similar messaging.

Washington cherries – grossing about $6500 to New York City.

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