In this 'in charts' mini-series of articles, Colin Fain of data visualization tool Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. In each series, he will look at a different fruit commodity, focusing on a different origin or topic in each installment to see what factors are driving change.
Towering over the other berries, strawberries are the unchallenged kings. The nearest competitor is blueberries, which on average only add one-fifth of the volume that strawberries send to market.
It’s not too often that we live events that define the last 10 years. In the world of strawberries, last month was exactly that. With a volume of 336,490,000 pounds, June’s volume is the first time the industry has broken the 300-million-pound mark
US Berry Movements in Lbs
The consequence of this massive volume has been a drop in the price that has had many in the industry scratching their heads.
US Strawberry Shipping Point Prices (8 1 Lb Containers) in USD
The response to the surge in volume is reflected in the lowest average price we’ve seen in May in the last four years. At US$8.70 it is considerably lower than last year's price, and the previous low, of US$9.96.
US Strawberry Shipping Point Prices (8 1 Lb Containers), Comparing the last Four Years
Considering that May is typically the highest volume month for the fruit, the impact of these price fluctuations can be considerable.
Although not all fruit is reflected in the USDA’s database, the information that is reported is generally recognized as a good point of reference for how the markets are moving. That said, the low prices have hit producers, taking away 12% of the value per flat, compared to last year.
If we multiply the price and the volume, we can have an idea of what the value of the crop was, which compared to last year only went 6% higher, arguably returning less money to the industry for the considerable additional effort they made to bring this fruit to market.
US Strawberry Movements by Month in Lbs, Comparing the Last Four Years
In our mini-series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look a some of the other articles listed below.
Agronometrics is a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that you depend on. We strive to help farmers, shippers, buyers, sellers, movers and shakers get an objective point of view on the markets to help them make informed strategic decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily recreate these same graphs, or explore the other 20 fruits we currently track, creating your own reports automatically updated with the latest data daily.