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More movement on red seedless grapes in California
The California table grape season is approaching the end now but some of the later varieties are still available. Supplies have been short overall, and there are currently fewer of the red seedless varieties available than the green thanks to higher demand.
"The California table grape season is close to finishing up," said Justin Gonzalez of VBZ Grapes. "Red seedless varieties available are Crimson, Scarlet Royal and Allison. In green seedless, we have Autumn King and in black seedless, Autumn Royal, which is finishing up. There is also some light volume of Red globe still available. The Scarlet Royal is mostly finished but there are still some remaining and the Crimson left to sell has had some color issues which is quite typical of the variety. There are still good supplies left of the Autumn King as the demand is not as strong as the red seedless varieties."
Red seedless in higher demand
Suppliers have been working harder to clear the green table grapes out compared with their red counterparts. The market has been very firm for the red seedless varieties and supplies are expected to be sold out by the end of the year.
"There is a fairly firm market on the red seedless grapes and supply is less than demand," Gonzalez said. "Between now and January, the red table grapes look to move themselves and pricing has been better than in recent years. We're trying to encourage more movement of green grapes by getting customers to purchase these along with red ones. There are more green grapes around than previous years, with estimates suggesting there are up to 2,000,000 more cases of green grapes than at this time last year. Normally, we ship grapes into January, however this year we expect to clear up by New Year or even Christmas."
Peru not producing expected volume
Part of the reason for the firm market on California table grapes is the lower volume coming out of Peru. Prices on Peru grapes are much higher thanks to the tight supply and this is helping California suppliers move their grapes out quicker.
"Peru should have volume on grapes already landing on the East Coast, but they simply haven't come in," Gonzales noted. "On the East coast, we are hearing red pricing up to 40% higher than our own produce and this is certainly helping us move the California stock much quicker than we usually do."
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