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Limited supply from Chile creates tight US nectarine market
The market for nectarines is very tight at the moment. The stone fruit is largely coming from Chile at this time of year and suppliers are saying that due to very limited supplies, prices are very high, currently sitting at $24 - $25.
"It's a very tight market in the US at the moment due to short availability," said Joseph Russo, of A Trading, based in New York. "Prices are at a premium, resulting in the market being in a speculative mood. If prices are right, the product moves, if they're not right the product doesn't move."
Russo also added that the quality of the fruit that is coming in is not ideal and he is hoping for improved quality in the coming weeks. "Some of the nectarines are coming in dry," he said. "They look okay but they not great eating. It's not affecting all of the fruit but it's an indication of lower overall early season fruit quality which will hopefully improve as the season progresses."
Growers affected by cooler conditions
South American fruit has experienced a slow start overall as cooler weather prevails in the growing regions. In Chile, the early season nectarines are maturing slowly and this is contributing to the delay in supply.
"We are seeing very short availability on Chilean nectarines, and stone fruit in general," said Rennan Victor, of Southern Sun. "The fruit has been very delayed due to the cooler weather conditions that have prevailed in the growing districts. Temperatures are expected to become warmer over the next few weeks as the summer season progresses. This will help the fruit mature quicker and will cause the fruit to size up well and improve quality. Volumes are expected to become more consistent over the next 2-3 weeks."
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