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Fruit in Charts: The winners and losers of 2018 (Part 1 of 3)

To introduce a brand new function on our website and celebrate the new year, we have compiled our entire data set to see what commodities are the biggest winners and losers of 2018. To give a bit of a longer-term perspective, we even went back nine years to measure which commodities have had the best performance.
The most stable data we have are what the USDA calls Shipping Point prices which in reality represents domestic shipping point and Port of Entry for imported produce. Generally speaking, these are collected in a pretty standardized way every day giving us relatively clean data to work with. To get the best idea of how each commodity has performed against the others we standardized the prices to USD per kilo which minimizes the variance that could be created by different commercial formats.
The end result is pretty interesting. In the chart below you can make out the berries at the top of the chart with the highest prices, followed by a big mix of everything else right after.…
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Asparagus in Charts - See how the markets react as Mexicos volume more than doubles

Today, I invite readers to dive into the world of the only vegetable we currently have in Agronometrics, Asparagus. In this article we will use Agronometrics to learn more about the Commodity.

The two biggest players are far and away Mexico and Peru. Both origins ship all year round, with their major peaks in production off setting each other to offers a relatively stable supply to consumers. There is a notable exception which is Mexico's production during the first trimester of the year, which I explore in this article..

Asparagus Movements last 18 Months
(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
The market is characterized by volatility with considerable price swings seemingly every other month. Interestingly, Mexico seems to be the most volatile of the two big players in the Asparagus market dancing around Peru as it hits nearly all the spikes and troughs along the way.

Asparagus Prices by Origin
(Source: USDA Mark…

Fruit in Charts - What happens to USDA market data when the US Government Shutsdown?

As U.S. politicians lock horns over funding for the border wall, the government has partially shut down, stopping most non-essential services. While in the past this has included those provided by the USDA market news service – where we get our market data from - things have changed this year.

In this article I will briefly look at why the government shuts down at all - which must be mind boggling for anybody not from the U.S.… and quite frankly for most of us from the U.S. as well - and also see what will happen to our precious market data as a consequence.

So why would any government set itself up to hold as hostage the services it provides to its citizenship to its politicians partisan goals? It seems like an unnecessarily frustrating situation that few other countries in the world seem to face. The reason is because of the separations of power written into the U.S. constitution, where both congress and the president must agree on a budget before the government can spend money. As…

Best Articles of 2018

Rounding off on the year we are happy to publish the articles that have been best received by our readers. The measure used is a combination of readership from the articles published on Freshfruitportal.com, readership from the blog and referrals received to the Agronometrics.com from either source. After some number crunching here is our best of for 2018.
As an added bonus, all the charts to these reports have been updated with live links, so that users can access these reports with up to date values live on Agronometrics.com
1. Blueberries in Charts: With prices at their highest so far this year, will they continue to rise?


2. Blueberries in Charts: Peru, reshaping the U.S. blueberry market



3. Lemons in Charts: Massive import growth in tandem with rising prices



4. Avocados in Charts: Mexico could see high fall prices despite U.S. supply forecast



5. Grapes in Charts: How will Peru’s sharp volume increase affect the U.S. market?

Avocados in Charts - Record volumes send prices to bellow pre-stike levels

Bellow is the exact same chart I use to open my previous article Avocados in Charts: How does the Mexican growers’ strike compare to 2016?. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it, as pretty much every scenario laid out has played out as expected.

So moving forward in time five weeks we can see very clearly the effects of the strike which started affecting the markets on the 30th of October. A massive gap in shipments complemented by rising prices, followed immediately by a huge swell in volume quickly bringing prices down even below pre-strike levels.

US Monthly Grape Shipping Point Historical Prices (Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
Comparing the last four years of volume data aggregated weekly the effects of the strike are even more pronounced. Hitting not only the lowest volume that any one week has recorded in the last four years, but quickly spiking, setting a new record for the most volume ev…