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Later but more regular start for California grapes

The California table grape season has shifted back to its regular start of the season.

“It’s been a little bit of a later start to the season than normal—compared to the last couple of years which have been early years,” says Jim Beagle of Shafter, CA-based Grapery. “We had a more normal winter so the vines had a more normal dormancy. We’ve had hot weather this summer which is normal. If it was cooler, the crop would advance faster. And if anything, it’s a return to more normal conditions for us from the struggles of the drought from the previous couple of years.”

And while Beagle says this years expectations of crop size is very similar to last year, the quality is proving solid. “It’s great as is the eating quality across the board,” says Beagle. “It’s one of those years where everything eats well. The conditions have had a big impact on how the fruit is tasting this year.”

Beagle anticipates that Grapery’s season, which started late July, will run through to November.

Demand looking good
“Demand is very strong,” he says, noting pricing is slightly higher than last year. “There’s strong pricing and strong movement and retailers should be prepared to promote grapes which drives a lot of traffic of course. And consumers are buying grapes and are happy with what they’re buying because the repeat sales numbers look strong.”

And as the season moves, supply continues to swell as well. “I see volume supply continuing to increase as we transition from the early season varieties starting into the mid-season varieties, of which there’s more acreage and higher volumes,” he says. “I expect movement in pricing to continue to hold steady and be strong.”
For more information:
Jim Beagle
Tel: +1-661-387-9300

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