Late-variety grapes in California are commanding robust prices, as the season progresses into its latter stages. The feeling among some growers is that production could be lower than initial projections, and less fruit could make for even stronger prices.

“What is happening is that product is in fewer people's hands, which happens during this time of year,” said Nick Dulcich of Sunlight International. “We can't sell to everyone, so the product is in fewer people's hands. Some people only have black, or they only have red. There are few of us who have the whole package, so that limits what people can buy.” He noted that growers have been firm on prices, which has made for a strong market.

On November 21, the price for a 19-pound container of large Crimson seedless grapes out of the Kern District was between $16.95 and $20.95. The price for a container of large Red Globes was similar, though the price ceiling was lower. The price for a container of extra large Autumn King grapes was between $24.95 and $26.95, and a container of extra large Autumn Royal grapes went for between $20.95 and $22.95.

Initial estimate put this year's crop around 117 million boxes, though many think it's likely final production will be lower than that. While production will go into December, it looks as if a lack of water might have taken a toll on this year's crop.

“Although there's less fruit, I do see us going into December or January,” said Dulcich. “There was a slowdown in harvesting this fall because the colour was off, but we did get caught up with last year's numbers, as far as shipments go.”

For more information:
Nick Dulcich
Sunlight International
+1 661 792 6360