As reported in an article by Direct Source Marketing, the industry has received increased arrivals of Chilean seedless table grapes for the past two weeks. As we near the April 10th USDA Marketing Order, a flush of red and black seedless will enter the US market, while overall green seedless volumes steadily decline. We should see increased promotional activity on both red and black seedless as overall availability on green seedless begins to tighten. With cool temperatures throughout the table grape growing regions of Mexico, expectations are for harvest schedules to be delayed by 10-14 days. Retailers are keen to promote Mexican table grapes for Memorial Day, but overall supplies will not be sufficient enough to support holiday ads. We could see extremely high spot market pricing in the month of April & May as the industry looks to stretch out Chilean supplies until Mexico comes fully online.
As we head towards the end of March, excellent volumes of Chilean Crimson Seedless are dominating weekly shipping reports. The industry is seeing some proprietary varieties like Chilean Allisons and limited volumes of Peruvian Sweet Celebrations. Importers are offering aggressive FOB pricing on imported red seedless to keep fruit moving through the system in a controlled fashion.
We expect to see compressed volumes arriving now through the April 10th USDA Marketing Order. Overall quality and condition have been very good with strong retail promotions currently in place. Pricing on Chilean Crimson Seedless currently ranges from $18-$20 on medium large, $20-$22 on large and $22-$24 on x-large with the mostly market at $22. Importers are doing their best to garner higher pricing for proprietary varieties, but seem to be more focused on keeping fruit moving through the pipeline. Look for FOB’s to remain at current levels through the duration of the month and into the first two weeks of April. With Mexico’s late start, the industry could see elevated FOB pricing on Chilean red seedless towards the end of April and into early May.
Overall green seedless arrivals will begin to decline sharply as overall Chilean harvests are all but finished for the season. There is still good volume available in the market, but expectations are to see that trend reverse as we enter the month of April. Overall quality and condition ranges widely with a split market between premium-quality storage lots and fruit that needs to be moved quickly. Pricing on good quality green seedless currently ranges from $22 on medium/large, $24-$26 on large and $26-$28 on x-large. Storage quality fruit currently ranges from $28-$32 with very few importers looking move their best lots yet. Green Seedless pricing will continue to adjust higher week by week with spot market FOB’s reaching the 30’s once overall availability begins to decline.
Excellent volumes of unknown Chilean black seedless have been moving through the system in a brisk fashion as overall quality and condition has been excellent. Solid retail promotions are in place with good consumer support and expectations are to see this trend continue for another 1-2 weeks. The industry will begin transitioning into Chilean Autumn Royal Black Seedless. Pricing on unknown black seedless currently ranges from $19-$20 on large and $22-$23 on x-large.
There are only limited supplies of Peruvian Red Globes still left in the market. FOB’s have firmed over the last week with pricing ranging from $16-$20 depending on size, color and condition. Arrivals of Chilean Red Globes will begin arriving in better numbers as we enter the month of April, but overall volumes will be light in comparison to previous years as demand in Asia is still fairly good.