Berry Supply – 6.26.24

As we move into the peak of summer, several key berry markets are experiencing significant shifts. Here’s a detailed update on the current status of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

Strawberries:

  • Salinas/Watsonville: Ideal growing conditions have led to good daily harvest volumes, though occasional bruising and overripeness are noted. Open market availability is very limited.
  • Santa Maria: Expected to finish next week, further straining northern district supplies.
  • Market Tightening: The strawberry market is tightening rapidly due to several factors:
    • Santa Maria yields are declining rapidly, increasing demand on Salinas and Watsonville.
    • Aggressive promotional pricing for the 4th of July pull has led to heavy prebook demand, especially early in the week.
    • Northern districts, though still yielding strong, are straining their crews to meet demand, causing loading delays and order pushes.
    • The current high demand is expected to last through the end of the week, subsiding by early next week.

Blueberries:

  • Oregon: Production started last Monday, with light yields expected to improve next week.
  • New Jersey: Season has begun, and Michigan will follow in the next week or two. Central Mexico continues to cross fruit, while West Coast production has been impacted by early-month heat, causing reduced yields and some crop loss. Jersey Blueberries from Hammonton, NJ are plentiful and gorgeous this year. Stock up while you can.
  • Markets: Pricing remains steady with West Coast shippers lighter in supply compared to other areas. Availability in multiple regions prevents price increases.

Blackberries:

  • Mexico: Peaking with more fruit.
  • Watsonville: Production progressing well.
  • Georgia: Fruit still being offered.
  • Markets: Pricing remains steady, with volume deals available due to sluggish demand.

Raspberries:

  • West Coast Watsonville: Increased production.
  • Central Mexico/Baja: Good amounts continue to enter the U.S.
  • Markets: Pricing steady through the end of the week.

In summary, the berry market is experiencing a mix of steady production and fluctuating supply across various regions. As Santa Maria wraps up its strawberry season, we anticipate increased pressure on northern districts. Blueberries and blackberries are seeing consistent production, while raspberry supply remains strong. Seashore Fruit & Produce Co in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on this market and source the freshest products available to us.

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