Posts Tagged “grape shipments”

California Grape Shipments to be Big This Season; Washington Stone Fruit is Gearing Up

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DSCN0818California is expected one of its larger grape season shipping season on record. Meanwhile, Washington state stone fruit shipments are gearing up.

San Joaquin Valley grape shipments get underway in the southern district of Arvin next week and will have a significant growth in several newer table grape varieties and an overall increase in volume compared to a year ago.  It also is expected to be the second-largest California table grape shipping season in history.

 The 2018 crop estimate statewide that also includes the Coachella Valley is estimated at 115 million boxes [19-pound equivalent], up from last year’s 109 million boxes.  This increase will be coming from the San Joaquin Valley.  The record is 117.5 million boxes for the 2013 crop.

Although most of the volume increase in 2018 will be in Kern and Tulare counties, there are also more plantings in the Arvin district , which is traditionally the earliest district in the valley.

By contrast, volume is down in the Coachella Valley in California’s southern desert, where the season is coming to an end.  The 2018 estimate for the Coachella Valley is 4.5 million boxes, down from 5 million last year.  The Coachella season precedes the San Joaquin Valley season and corresponds to the timing of the Sonora, Mexico, grape deal.  Sonora and Coachella are often referred to, collectively, as desert grapes (although sometime, in the California context, the term is used in reference to Coachella only).

Sonora grape growers are estimating a harvest this year of 16 million boxes, down from 21 million last year.  A smooth transition from the Sonora and Coachella seasons into the early San Joaquin deal is expected.  Coachella and Sonora are roughly about 20 percent less than what they were last year.

Washington Stone Fruit Shipments

Early season stone fruit shipments start in July and will peak in volume from mid-August to late September.  About one-half Washington state stone fruit acreage in now planted organic and by the end of 2018 it will be over two-thirds organic.

Washington peaches, nectarines, apricots and Italian prunes are expected to be similar in volume to 2017.

In 2017, Washington’s 400 stone fruit growers harvested 8,400 tons of peaches, which is an average size crop.  Nectarines had 7,000 tons, while apricots came in with 6,600 tons, trending upward from previous years.

Peach and nectarine shipments start in July and peaking in August and September. Apricots started in June and go through July, with some extending into August. Prune shipments occur during July and August.


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Imports: Peruvian Grapes to Bounce Back; Drop in South African Fruit Imports is Seen

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GrapesSAPeruvian table grapes at the start season earlier this year was delayed due the effects of El Nino, but a comeback is seen…..From South Africa, fruit imports are expected to be less.

While Peruvian grape exports declined about 10 percent due to the weather, the country is expected to rebound.  Table grapes are Peru’s number one agricultural export, and it is estimated the country’s 2017-18 production to be 638,000 metric tons, compared to 605,000 metric tons the past season. Exports are forecast at 380,000 metric tons, a jump from the 300,000 metric tons in 2016-17 season.

Rising demand, better yielding varieties and more acreage are the primary reason for increasing volume.

The U.S. is the largest import market for Peruvian grapes, followed by the Netherlands and China.

 South African Imports

Drought and low water levels in reservoirs in the Western Cape region of South Africa are expected to cut exports for the 2017-18 season.

The Western Cape region accounts for the biggest volume of deciduous fruits in South Africa, though the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and Limpopo provinces have gained in importance in the last two decades.

Grape Shipments

South African table grape exports for the 2017-18 season will drop 15 percent to 258,000 metric tons, due to a decrease in area harvested and small fruit size in the Western Cape growing areas.  However, normal production and growing conditions are expected in the Orange River growing regions.

South African grapes typically are shipped from October to May, with the first grapes coming from the Northern Cape Region and the season ending with the Hex River Valley.  The U.S. and Canadian markets have increased imports of South African grapes the past few years, but still accounted for only 3 percent of total exports last season. The European Union takes about 75 percent of South Africa’s fresh grape exports.

Apples and pears

2017-18 apple exports from South Africa are forecast to decline 5 percent to 500,000 metric tons due to reduced harvest area, smaller fruit size and limited irrigation water.  Africa takes about 40 percent of South Africa’s apple exports, followed by the European Union with 30 percent and Asia with 19 percent.  Only light volumes are shipped to the U.S.

Meanwhile, South Africa pear exports in 2017-18 are projected at 250,000 metric tons, down 3 percent from the previous year. About half of South Africa’s pear exports are shipped to Europe, with typically about 1,000 metric tons or less destined to the U.S. market.

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World Grape Shipping Outlook is Favorable

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dscn8447Grape production throughout the world is forecast to jump, rising 1 million tons to 21.9 million, as China’s growth continues and Turkey’s production recovers.

U.S. grape shipments is forecast to rebound back to near the 2013-14 record, rising 60,000 tons to 1 million tons, as vineyards recover from previous years’ adverse growing conditions.  Exports are forecast up 37,000 tons to 365,000 on higher production and improved shipments to Asian markets.  Imports are slated to rise 15,000 tons to 545,000 as consumption continues to grow and as domestic supplies are augmented by higher deliveries from Chile.

Chile’s production is forecast up 42,000 tons to 910,000 on abundant chill hours, warm spring temperatures, and good water supplies.  Exports are expected to parallel production, rising 42,000 tons to 730,000 on higher shipments to top markets U.S. and China.

Peru’s production is anticipated to increase by 65,000 tons to 605,000 on higher yields in maturing vineyards and as new plantings come into production.  Exports, averaging 60% of production the last 3 years, are forecast to improve to 370,000 tons as greater exportable supplies lead to higher shipments to the European Union and the U.S. Continued export growth sustains Peru’s position as the world’s second-largest exporter after Chile.

China’s production is forecast to jump 600,000 tons to 10.2 million on yields from higher growing area.  Exports are anticipated to surge over 50% to 350,000 tons, as increased supplies and lower prices boost shipments to Asian markets, especially Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Imports are projected to maintain an upward trend, rising 20% to 300,000 tons, as strong demand continues to drive shipments from top suppliers Chile, Peru and the U.S.

Turkey’s production is forecast to rebound from last year’s frost-affected crop, rising 345,000 tons to 2.4 million. Russia continues its ban on Turkish table grapes; yet, exports are expected to rise 50,000 tons to 225,000 on rejuvenated supplies and higher shipments to Belarus, Ukraine, and Georgia.

EU’s production is expected to slip 61,000 tons to 1.7 million, as decreasing acreage has been exacerbated by adverse weather in top producers Italy and Greece. Exports are forecast to contract slightly to 84,000 tons as production losses are reflected in lower shipments to Belarus and Norway. Imports are forecast flat at 610,000 tons.

Russia’s production is forecast to rise slightly to 103,000 tons as higher yields offset declining acreage. Imports are projected to decline further, dropping 25,000 tons to 230,000 as Russia continues to ban table grapes from top supplier Turkey.

Argentina’s production will drop 20,000 tons to 40,000, as a late frost damaged vineyards and high costs drove growers to raise wine and raisin grapes. Exports are expected to continue their downward trend, cut 3,000 tons to 8,000, and down sharply — nearly 90% — since their peak in 2006-07.

California grape shipments – grossing about $4400 to Chicago.


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Outlook for Domestic Fruit Shipments are Good

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DSCN7161Total domestic apple and grape shipments are expected to be up this season, while a drop in pear and peach loadings is seen.  California raspberry loads also are lagging.

Apple, Pear, Peach Shipments

U.S. apple and grape shipments are expected to increase in 2016, while pear and peach volume will decline, according to a USDA report.

About 10.4 billion pounds of apples will be produced in the U.S. this season.  The Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook from the USDA’s Economic Research Service reports the 2016 apple crop is on track to be 4 percent larger than last year’s crop and the fourth-largest since 2000.

California grape shipments are expected to hit 15.6 billion pounds in 2016, up 2 percent from 2015.  The increase comes despite persistent drought in California, the top producing state.

The number of pear shipments in the U.S. this season, however, is predicted to fall 5 percent, with about 1.56 billion pounds being shipped.  That would be the lowest U.S. total in more than 20 years.  The top three states for pear shipments, Washington, Oregon and California, are expected to be down between 2 and 4 percent.

U.S. peach loadings also will be down this season with a total of 1.61 billion pounds  That would be 5 percent below last year, and it would be the seventh consecutive year U.S. peach volumes have declined.

Washington’s Yakima Valley apples and pears – grossing about $6200 to Boston.

California’s San Joaquin Valley table grapes – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.

California Raspberry Shipments

California raspberry shipments so far this season has been about 122 million pounds shipped, down from 143 million pounds.  Around 4.1 million pounds of raspberries were shipped in the U.S. during the week ending October 1, off from 5.3 million pounds last year at the same time and 4.5 million pounds the previous week.

California’s Watsonville district strawberries, raspberries – grossing about $4100 to Dallas.

California’s Salinas Valley vegetables – grossing about $6300 to New York City.



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San Joaquin Valley Grapes May Set Record

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DSCN7037California table grape shipments could be on track to match the record volume of 2013.

Loadings are currently forecast to hit 117.4 million 19-pound box equivalents. This would equal the amount shipped three years ago and outstrip last year’s 109.6 million.  A final estimate is due in late July,

Many of the newer grape varieties are yielding anywhere from 1,400 to 2,200 boxes more per acre or better.  Couple that with a lot of new plantings and there will be increasing shipments out of California for the next three or four years.  A lot of it has been transitioned out of older varieties like crimsons. Growers pulled them out and replanted.

Grape shipments will get underway this coming week from the  southern San Joaquin Valley and continue into November.

The Coachella Valley always kicks off California Grape shipments around May 1st.  Early reports of reduced volumes in the desert may have been exaggerated.  Coachella is now winding down grape shipments as the San Joaquin Valley is getting started.

Meanwhile Mexican grape shipments are also declining.  Red grapes have finished and white grapes (Sugraones) are on their final leg.

In essence all San Joaquin Valley districts will be picking within about 10 days of each other.  This includes McFarland and Delano coming on July 1st.

One major grape shipper, Crown Jewels Produce, say it will upwards of 1 million boxes out of the valley from Bakersfield to Madera this season.

The company started with a few flames out of Arvin around June 21.   Then it will have grapes out of Fresno County just south of Fresno, June 28.

Crown Jewels then will have some summer royal black grapes in the first week of July.   These will be followed by Thompson green grapes, as well as some princess grapes in mid- to late-July.   August, September and October should be big months for California grape shipments.

Coachella Valley grapes – grossing about $4900 to Chicago.

Kern County carrots, potatoes, – grossing about $3800 to Dallas.


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CA Shipping Update: Desert Grapes and Onions, SJV Prunes

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DSCN7307Here’s shipping updates for California relating to Coachella Valley grapes, Imperial Valley onions and prunes from the San Joaquin Valley.

Grape Shipments

In the desert of the Coachella Valley, table grape shipments are a big deal for about six weeks every year.  The late timing of Memorial Day (May 30) will mean added loading opportunities for produce haulers due to demand leading up to this holiday.  Though Coachella grapes are a bit earlier this year, it still will be around May 10th before good volume occurs.  That means the weeks of May 16th and 23rd there will be heavy shipments.

For the Coachella Valley, the months of July, August and September, daytime temperatures can easily top 110 degrees and approach 120, making this region inhospitable to field-grown crops.  But other times of the year grapes, watermelon, sweet corn, Bell peppers and grapefruit are just a few of the crops that are shipped, especially in the spring and fall.  The Coachella Valley is located about 130 miles southeast of Los Angeles and only a few miles from Palm Springs.

Changing weather patterns for the last few years have meant an April start for grapes, which some are calling the effects of global warming and others are saying is merely a few-year anomaly from normal patterns.  For whatever reasons, this year saw grapes being harvested in April once again, as they were in 2014 and 2015.

Imperial Valley Onion Shipments

Onion shipments are now in full swing in the Imperial Valley of southern California.  These shipments from the desert occur during April and May, after which the season is continued in Fresno from June until September.

Prune Shipments
Storms hit Northern California in March damaging this year’s prune crop.  The result of potential damages may result in prune shipments being reduced this season by 75 percent.
Prune loadings have declined in recent years while struggling to compete with the high prices commanded by walnut and almond crops.  Growers have ripped out prune orchards to plant nut crops, causing the amount of prune acreage in California to shrink from 67,000 acres in 2005 to 44,000 acres in 2015.
Southern California fruits and vegetables – grossing about $4500 to Chicago.

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California: Good, But not Great Produce Shipments Seen

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DSCN7302California produce shippers are looking to a spring and summer of good produce shipments, while mostly avoiding talk of bumper crops.

It should be a decent year for produce haulers looking to transport items ranging from stone fruit, to table grapes, cherries, melons, apples, citrus or berries.  While El Nino didn’t happen, at least to the extent many thought it would, there has been average rains in much of the state that have helped to fight, but not eliminate the California drought.  Adequate labor also continues to be a concern.

Here’s a look at California produce shipments in the coming months.

Apple Shipments

California apple shipment should get underway the week of July 20th with galas and continue through September.  Fujis loadings should be available from mid-August through October.  Granny Smith apple movement should be from late August through December; Pink Lady apple loadings will occur from mid-October through December.

About 1.8 million boxes of apples will be shipped, with around two-thirds of the volume marketed by Primavera Marketing of Linden, CA.

Berry Shipments

Strawberry shippers from Ventura County are in a seasonal decline.  However, good volume is predicted for Watsonville starting in May and will continue into August.  Strawberries out of Santa Maria have started and will continue through July.  Raspberries have a similar season, although there is much less volume with shipping gaps.  California will ship blueberries through May, before loadings shift to the Pacific Northwest.

Melon Shipments

California cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon shipments should be in good supply this summer.  Prior to California, there will be cantaloupe loadings starting out of Yuma, AZ.  This is followed by the melon harvest shifting to Huron, CA around June 20th.

Stone Fruit Shipments

Loadings for stone fruit shippers from the Southern San Joaquin Valley are just starting and will continue for the next four months.  Leading items are peaches, plums and nectarines.

Citrus Shipments

Late-season navel oranges and mandarins continue to be shipped for a few more weeks.  Valencias get underway in July.  Lemon loadings are virtually over in the Central San Joaquin Valley.  Loadings are now shifting to production areas on the coast.

Orange and mandarin shipments – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.

Grape Shipments

Coachella Valley grape shippers should start the first week of May and continue through most of June.  Shipments will then shift to the Arvin district (Bakersfield) around July 1.

Vegetable Shipments

There is light but increasing volume with vegetable shipments from both Santa Maria and Salinas.  Items range from head lettuce, to leaf lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine, celery, kale, parsley and cilantro, among others.  There should be good volume by early May.

Santa Maria vegetable shipments – grossing about $6500 to New York City.




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Mexican Grape Shipments for U.S. Coming Soon

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As many Mexican produce shipments through Nogales, AZ wind down this time of year, an exception are table grapes.  The fruit also will be crossing into South Texas.DSCN4879

Grape shipments from south of the border will get underway the first week of May in light volume.  Decent volume is being forecast for loadings to be delivered to U.S. markets in time for Memorial Day, May 30th.  Last year Mexico shipped 17.2 million cases of grapes.  While volume is expected to be good this year, it will most likely be below the total of a year ago.

The first grapes crossing the border will the green Perlette seedless variety.  However within days, the most popular variety, the red Flames seedless grapes will be available.  Most of the grapes are grown in Mexico’s Sonora state.   Weather factors are being cited for lower volume this season.  Very low volumes of the black seedless and Red Crimson grapes are predicted.  These late season grapes are a primary reason observers are seeing the Mexican grape season ending a little earlier this year than normal – the first of July.

Mexican produce shipments crossing through Nogales – grossing about $3200 to Chicago.




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California Fall Shipping Update; Plus Oregon Potatoes

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IMG_6143+1Here’s an update on California fall produce shipments, plus a glimpse at the outlook for Oregon potato shipments.

Among the leading items for fall produce loadings out of California are grapes, apples and citrus.

Grape Shipments

California ships over 60 percent of its table grapes after September 1st.  Total California grape shipments this season are estimated at 113.3 million 19-pound boxes.  So far grape quality has generally been good.  However, we need to keep an eye on hot, humid and occasional rainy weather that could adversely affect quality.

San Joaquin Valley grapes and other items – grossing about $6700 to New York City.

Apple Shipments

California gala apple shipments got off to a slow start in mid July mainly because of Washington state’s old crop still being shipped.  Loadings have now picked up.  Fujis and granny smith apples shipments get underway in September, followed by pink lady in mid October.  Primavera Marketing Inc., of Stockton, CA is the state’s largest apple shipper, with about 1.1 million boxes.  The state’s apple shipments have taken a hit, however, with Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield, CA, pulling out of the apple business following a listeria outbreak at its packing facility.  The company, which packed about 400,000 boxes of apples, is now focusing on other crops.

Citrus Shipments

California navel shipments should start in mid-October, although volume will be down this season due to 20,000 to 25,000 acres of trees being dozed because of the drought.  For easy-peel fruit, satsumas will starte ahead of navels, in late September or early October.v Clementine loadings start soon after navels.  Volumes should be up as younger trees come into production.

Oregon Potato Shipments

Oregon fresh potato shipments are expected to be similar to the 2014-15 season.

However, excessive heat could change spuds as the harvest progresses, especially if vines start dying early.

The table stock harvest started in early August from the Columbia Basin, with harvest in the Klamath Basin following shortly thereafter.

Oregon fresh potato shipments are 17 percent of total state production, with fresh acreage being approximately 7,000 acres.

Oregon potatoes – grossing about $4300 to Chicago.

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Crazy Winter Weather is Affecting California Produce Shipments

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DSCN5085Southern California avocados hit by snow, while table grape shipments are just about finished.

California produce shipments

Sunny Southern California was more like a winter wonder land New Year’s Eve when a snowstorm dumped up to 6 inches on parts of Riverside County and caused damage to avocado orchards.

Damage assessments should be available very soon.   Just when you think you’ve seen everything, it snows in Temecula, CA!  About half of an estimated 330-million pound crop is shipped from the state’s southern growing regions of Riverside and San Diego counties.  To the north, Ventura County got some low temperatures Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 but fruit loss was expected to be minimal.

Avocado tree branches were down, although there is hope the fruit on the tree would still be harvestable.  Damage from the weight of the snow doesn’t  necessarily mean freeze damage.

Grape Shipments

Meanwhile, California table grape shippers have completed harvests, with what appears to be the second largest crop on record, despite the drought.  It is estimated there will be 105.9 million 19-pound boxes shipped, which would be short of last year’s 116.3-million-box haul, but exceeding the 101.3 million packages turned out in 2012.  Grape shipments could finish this week for the season.

In the meantime, California desert vegetable shipments are unpredictable as ever with shipping gaps occurring due to past freezing weather.

Imperial Valley/Yuma vegetables – grossing about $3000 to Seattle.

Southern California avocados, berries and celery – grossing about $5000 to Atlanta.


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