Strawberries in Charts: The king of berries sees its biggest month ever

June 26 , 2018

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

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

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

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

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

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

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

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

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.

Avocados:

Avocados in Charts: Dynamic growth and opportunities in the U.S. market

Avocados in Charts: California at the heart of the US market

Avocados in Charts: Peru – An opening window of opportunity

Blueberries:

Blueberries in Charts: Finding opportunities in the gaps

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.

www.freshfruitportal.com

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  1. Jim says:

    I can see why strawberries would be titled to be the King of berries; just in the United States, import of strawberries have gone up 35.45% in the past year. This figure is impressive, but what is equally impressive is that the production and export of strawberries have been steadily climbing for the past 2 decades. You can go to https://www.tridge.com/intelligences/stawberry/US to see how strawberries are the King of berries