Chile finishes up in high-priced U.S. plum market as California begins

Agronometrics in Charts: High-priced Chilean plum season ends as California gears up

Agronometrics in Charts: High-priced Chilean plum season ends as California gears up

In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Charts’ series, Cristian Crespo F. 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.


This week we're going to take a look at fresh plums in the U.S. market. The first half of 2021 is ending with significantly higher prices than the last few years, as can be seen below.

The market is supplied mainly by Chile during the first few months of the year, followed by California.

Average spot market prices during the first four months of this year were $2.24 per kilo, which is up 19 percent year-on-year. It seems that this increase was not driven by lower supplies, with volumes this year similar to the previous year.


Average prices of Chilean plums in the U.S. market (USD/KG)

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Historically, Chile and California have been the main plum suppliers to the U.S. market, although there have been smaller volumes from Argentina, Idaho, New Zealand and Mexico. 

However, California supplies have decreased dramatically over the last two decades, while Chilean volumes have remained fairly stable. 


Historical volumes of fresh plums (KG)

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

In the chart below, we can observe how volumes from Chile have been relatively similar over the last couple of years, indicating that supply volume was not the principal reason for the increased pricing this year.


Volumes of plums from Chile (KG)

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

As for California volumes, supplies have also been similar over the last couple of years. 


Volumes of plums from California (KG)

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

It is possible that the increased prices are related to the Covid-19 pandemic and the related increase in consumption of certain fruits.

Whatever the reason, we will be closely watching how the 2021 California plum season unfolds.


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.

You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed 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 access these same graphs, or explore the other 20 fruits we currently track.

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