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California 2020 Strawberry Outlook Update

The California acreage, planted with strawberries, is up year-on-year in 2020 from its lowest level in almost 15 years, and increased plantings in the Santa Maria producing region continue. Florida’s acreage remains flat, while strawberry plantings in Mexico continue to expand.

Updated estimates by research.rabobank.com, based on that organisation’s analytical tools, show that weekly strawberry shipments will increase in 2020, especially during California peak season in May and June, bringing prices down in specific weeks, compared to observed prices in 2019.

The analysts now include estimates for the organic strawberry market. Higher yields and acreage will boost weekly shipments during spring/summer 2020. Despite general price-pressure, there are market windows with potentially more favorable opportunities in the organic space for cost-competitive firms.

Impacts from COVID-19 are a mixed-bag for the strawberry industry. Food-service sales are in decline, while retail grocery sales have jumped. Labor availability is being negatively impacted, and remains the biggest issue.


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