Grapes in Charts: Prices hit five-year high despite heavy October volumes
In this installment of the ‘In Charts' series, Cristian Crespo F. of Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.
The seasonality of the grape market in the U.S. is clearly marked. At the start of the year, California volumes fall off and are replaced by Peru and then Chile. Chilean grapes finish around May or June, when Mexican begins to send fruit.
Once Mexico finishes, California starts the cycle up again, as can be seen in the chart below.
Arrival volume of grapes in the U.S., by origin
Currently, average reported prices of California grapes are at a five-year high in the U.S. market - around US$21.10 per box. At the same time last year, prices were at their lowest in five years - just US$14.96 per box.
Average prices of California grapes in the U.S. market
Despite that, in terms of supply levels from California, October saw the greatest volumes in five years for that month, with 170,753 metric tons (MT) reported by the USDA.
High volumes don’t always lead to low prices. As we commented in a previous ‘In Charts’ article, stock levels could have a significant effect on pricing. According to the USDA, stocks rose by around 18% in the second half of October, which may have helped to absorb the impact of the high volumes.
So far November looks to be a quieter month, with substantially lower volumes than October.
Monthly volume of California grapes in the U.S. market
In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.
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