U.S.: San Joaquin grape prices normal after Coachella high

August 09 , 2018

Coachella Valley table grapes have fetched significantly higher prices this summer than in previous years, but the opening prices for San Joaquin fruit are within the normal range.

The domestic U.S. market has been supplied with much lower volumes of fruit this year than in 2017, USDA data shows.

Coachella has finished up with a total of 3.8 million 18-pound boxes, which is 22% down year-on-year, while Mexican supplies as of the end of July were 24% down at 16.1 million boxes.

The lower supplies have been reflected in the prices for both origins.

Throughout June, Coachella grapes fetched average weekly prices of between US$28.00 and US$30.30, which were 36% – 54% higher year-on-year on any given week, while Mexico’s prices of between US$20.20 and US$27.00 were 44% – 61% higher.

By week 28, Coachella prices were 27% up year-on-year at US$27.00, while Mexico’s were 34% up at US$15.00.

Kern County grapes also began the season at higher prices than normal, fetching US$24.00 for a 19-pound box in week 29, whereas for the previous three years in the same week its prices had been only US$19.00 – $20.00.

The San Joaquin Valley, however, has not seen the higher prices enjoyed by the other origins this season, with week 30 and 31 prices of US$19.60 and US$18.60 in line with the three-year average.

Exports

U.S. grape exports through June this year were down by a quarter in volume and value compared to 2017, at around 12,000 metric tons (MT) and US$30 million.

Shipments to Mexico grew by 20% to 3,500MT while to Canada they fell 25% to 3,000MT.

Total export volume from the U.S. has remained relatively flat over the last three years at between 332,500MT and 343,000MT with a value of between US$750 million and US$785 million.

Photo: Shutterstock

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