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Retailers transitioning to Mexican and Coachella grapes

While Chile still has some late shipments of grapes on the East Coast, production is underway in both Mexico and Coachella, California. "The Peruvian and Chilean growers have had strong demand through 90 percent of their seasons. Too many late-season Chilean grapes with fair quality are now proving to be a challenge to move through the system," says Brock Wilson with King Fresh Produce LLC. "It's time for retailers to make way for Coachella Valley, California, and Mexican grapes."

Meanwhile, the supply from Mexico and Coachella is indicative of a year with promotable quality. "We're seeing a nice, crop with plenty of greens, reds, blacks, and specialty grapes," he says. "Retailers should take advantage of the dip in FOB prices for spring and summer grapes and promote with confidence."

The season from Mexico started slightly later this year, around the end of May into early June. "We still have the same amount of grapes to pick, pack, and ship but with fewer days to sell before the San Joaquin Valley of California starts," says Wilson.

California outlook
He also notes that Coachella Valley California grapes began harvest in mid-May which creates more opportunity for California-grown grapes.

As for demand, it's a bit softer to start the Mexican and Coachella season though it is growing. "A lot of larger retailers have switched into grapes from Mexico and Coachella which is helping clean up a lot of product," Wilson says, adding that demand may strengthen given the state of some other commodities–cherries may not be as strong in supply for the July 4th weekend as they have been in the past which could make more room for grapes.

Meanwhile, pricing is still finding its level in this market that's transitioning. "Three weeks ago we were in the $30s for grapes out of Mexico and now prices are a bit lower," says Wilson. "Though with retailers now making the switch to Mexican fruit, that will help grape prices find their level and set a precedent for the remainder of the year."

For more information:
Brock Wilson
King Fresh Produce LLC
Tel: +1 (559) 596-2040
[email protected]