Chilean stonefruit prices recover in U.S. market amid lower volumes

March 20 , 2018

Chilean stonefruit prices have seen a marked increase in the U.S. during the first part of the year compared with 2017, amid lower supplies from the South American country.

Data from the USDA shows that during the first ten weeks of the year, peach prices averaged US$17.60 a box at the importer level in the city of Philadelphia, putting them 14% higher than last year and similar to 2016.

Nectarine prices rose 21% to US$17.10 a box, putting them slightly below 2016 levels, while plum prices have continued their steady upward trend seen over the last couple of years and in 2018 rose 4% to US$17.20.

As for volumes, Chilean peach exports to the U.S. for the season through February were 6% down year-on-year at 12,800 metric tons (MT), according to Chile’s ODEPA. Chile’s share of the U.S. peach market during the period also fell from 66% to 58%.

U.S.-bound nectarine shipments were 27% down at 14,800MT, with the U.S. market share falling from 44% to 33%. This change came in tandem with a significant increase in exports to China, which opened for Chilean nectarine shippers in February last year. Over the period Chile took a 23% share of the Chinese nectarine market.

Meanwhile, Chilean plum exports to the U.S. were 26% down year-on-year at 10,000MT, while the U.S. market share fell from 30% to 27%.

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