Hurricane Hilary’s Impact on the Fruit Market

Hurricane Hilary’s Impact on the Fruit Markets: Insights into Strawberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Raspberry and Grape Markets.

Hurricane Hilary’s aftermath reverberates across fruit markets, causing shifts in pricing, availability, and quality. 

Strawberries: Quality Challenges and Price Adjustments

Lingering quality issues remain as a result of recent temperature spikes in strawberry production. Harvest estimates plummeted over Labor Day weekend, depleting inventories and necessitating higher pricing this week.

The warmer weather also influences berry sizing, yielding significant maturation variations. Cooler temperatures are expected which could potentially slow down crop production in the coming weeks. .

Blueberries: Market Turbulence and Surging Demand

The blueberry market has transformed rapidly due to a multitude of factors. The Michigan season abruptly concludes due to inclement weather, while the Pacific Northwest is past its production peak, experiencing diminishing yields.

Delayed imports from Peru and Argentina contribute to the market’s volatility. We do not anticipate Mexican volume to pick up before late September or early October. Due to back to school demand, there is an increase in this market. 

Due to the factors listed above, we expect to see a gap in production may persist for 3 to 4 weeks, with imported products expected to dominate the market during this period.

Blackberries: Prolonged Availability Issues

Central Coast California struggles with continued blackberry production shortages. Lingering quality problems and reduced yields persist following Hurricane Hilary, which struck two weeks ago, keeping prices elevated and availability limited.

Raspberries: Tight Markets and Potential Stabilization

Raspberry markets may experience tightening due to cooler temperatures on the West Coast and diminished supplies from Baja, CA and Central Mexico. 

California Grape Crop: Extensive Damage and Industry Impact

Tropical Storm Hilary’s wrath continues to wreaks havoc on the California grape crop. Present estimates indicate a 35% loss of the remaining crop, equivalent to 25 million cases. Growers labor to remove damaged grapes, focusing on split skins and mildew as the primary defects.

This damage triggers reduced daily production and heightened labor costs.  The industry is likely to deplete Californian grapes before December imports begin, accelerating the end of the season.

Hurricane Hilary’s aftermath resonates across fruit markets, instigating quality issues, price adjustments, and supply gaps. As developments unfold, consumers and industry stakeholders must adapt to these shifts and remain informed about ongoing market dynamics. Seashore in partnership with PRO*ACT will continue to keep you updated on these markets and source the freshest products available to us.


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