Strawberries continue to be a coveted commodity

Agronometrics in Charts: Strawberries continue to be a coveted commodity

Agronometrics in Charts More News Top Stories
Agronometrics in Charts: Strawberries continue to be a coveted commodity

In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Charts’ series, Sarah Ilyas analyzes the state of the strawberry industry. 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.

With the festivities for Valentine’s day in full swing, chocolate fondues and long stemmed strawberries are becoming coveted gift items. Strawberries' association with love dates back to Ancient Rome where the fruit was deemed the symbol of Venus, the goddess of love, owing to its intense red color and enticing taste. Strawberries were chiseled into church altars and cathedral pillars in medieval times to represent supremacy.

Thus, unsurprisingly, the arrival of this day boosts strawberry sales every February. According to industry sources, volumes in Central Mexico and Florida are expected to continually increase in the coming weeks and are likely to peak in time for Valentine’s Day.

As depicted in the graph below, week 4 witnessed volumes at around 20 M kg, a 27 percent spike compared to the last season


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

The increase in volumes can partly be attributed to enhancement in technology intended to aid in the development of greenhouses; new systems promoting better lighting and water operation have been set up, thanks to which, more places around the US have been able to grow strawberries out of season. 

In accord with the increase in volumes, strawberry prices began depreciating starting from November last year. Further dips in prices can be projected for the following weeks, owing to higher expected incoming volumes.

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

Labor is one of the largest overheads in strawberry production. Labor deficiencies have resulted in a higher demand for automated technologies to aid with harvest.

Companies like AGROBOT, Harvest CROO and Octinion are in the process of developing a range of automated robotic systems for the strawberry industry that have the capability of working either autonomously or semi-autonomously to collect fruit, in both field and tabletop production. Octinion’s Rubion robot is a case in point.

It enables even pressure distribution of ripe fruit. With projects such as these in motion and the increase in mechanization of the strawberry industry, harvesting potential for strawberries can be maximized. 

Despite the impediments in the supply chain and labor, marketers claim that customers are driving berry consumption higher. 

High consumption of strawberries and the ability of the market to hold steady prices despite soaring volumes points to a rosy future for the industry. 

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.

All pricing for domestic US produce represents the spot market at Shipping Point (i.e. packing house/climate controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, the pricing data represents the spot market at Port of Entry.

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 where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 21 commodities we currently track.


Subscribe to our newsletter