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California persimmons see strong demand but less supply
“The persimmon deal out of California is starting to wind down,” says Michael Reimer with Reedley, Ca.-based Brandt Farms Inc. “There’s probably a couple of weeks left so by mid-December it’ll be winding up. That’s a bit earlier than in the past for us.”
It’s an earlier end to a season that started slightly earlier as well by a week. Reimer notes that supplies have also been lighter this season. “They’re probably 75-80 per cent of last year’s supplies,” he says.
Yet, less fruit on the trees has an added bonus. “There’s been less of a load on some trees so we had better sizing,” says Reimer. “The size distribution has skewed a little more towards the largest size but it does depend field by field.”
Meanwhile demand has also grown for persimmons. “There’s been an uptick in both Hachiya and Fuyu persimmons--demand has been better this year than it’s been in past years,” says Reimer. “ There’s just more awareness of persimmons, especially the Fuyus. In the past, Hachiyas were more popular but I think Fuyus have turned out to be a more versatile piece of fruit you can use for cooking or eating out of the hand like an apple or slicing into salads.”
Pricing up too
Altogether that’s lead to stronger pricing on this year’s fruit— Reimer estimates it could be roughly 15-20 per cent stronger.
And looking ahead, the season is on track to finish up around Christmas. “We’re going to be running until the Christmas holiday with both Hachiyas and Fuyus in pretty good volume,” Reimer says. “Harvest is going to wind up on Hachiyas in the next 10 days and Fuyus will probably harvest slightly longer—possibly three weeks.”
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