Agronometrics Shorts: Strawberry prices witness a 50% leap in week 44
Strawberry prices surged by approximately 50% in week 44. Supplies originating from Santa Maria-Oxnard, California, are currently entering their peak harvest season. According to Steve Johnston from G.W. Palmer & Co. Inc., these strawberries were planted in late May, and although the crop volume is not substantial, it is reaching its peak.
This trend is expected to continue until the beginning of the year, barring any adverse weather conditions, particularly the onset of the rainy season in November. Conversely, the Salinas-Watsonville region in California, is gradually concluding its harvest for the season. In Mexico, strawberry production is commencing, and it appears to initiate earlier each year.
Production is still at a relatively low level, volumes will continue to trickle in during the following weeks but the season will likely culminate in Mid November. The demand for strawberries remains consistently robust. Strawberries continue to be a favored fruit, steadfastly retaining their position as a coveted item.
Simultaneously, the availability of blueberry imports is constrained, thereby resulting in escalated prices within the market. This scenario may be eliciting increased demand for other varieties of berries and the pricing dynamics of strawberries are exhibiting an upward trajectory. With the aging of the strawberry plants in Salinas-Watsonville, which are currently approximately a year old and due for replacement, the strawberry crop is dwindling rapidly. This impending reduction in supply is expected to drive prices higher.
Currently, strawberry prices are trending at an average of $16.33 per unit. A promising spring crop in California for 2024, primarily owing to substantial rainfall during the current year. Historically, following a year of significant rainfall, a robust yield can be expected if weather conditions remain favorable.
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
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