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Agronometrics Co-Authors IBO 2019 State of the Global Blueberry Industry Report

In conjunction with the IBO, we are happy to announce the release of the IBO 2019 State of the Industry Report. Weighing in at a whopping 158 pages, this years report offers the most complete collection of Blueberry production and commercial data complied by the IBO to date, all of this offered with useful insight from Cort Brazelton, technical analysis and context from Colin Fain and Luis Aragon from Agronometrics as well as comments from representative organizations of different producing regions.

For its part, Agronometrics contributed greatly to the report by offering a unique study of retail growth trends in the US, calculating and analyzing blueberry yields worldwide, as well as visualizing global shipments through the distillation of the entire UN COMTRADE data set, among other contributions.

If you are interested in learning about the current state of affairs for blueberry producers and getting a better understanding of where the industry is headed, this is the report for you.…
Recent posts

Avocados In Charts - Prices are falling and why are they likely to settle below 2018

Agronometrics has often spoken about what is to come and how the market could be affected. We hold a strong belief in being able to look at objective data can help navigate complicated scenarios. The recent spike in prices that avocados have seen is an example of one of these scenarios, catching many by surprise at a time of the year where we had never seen movements like this before. This can be seen in the chart below where the 2019 line has towered above all other prices since Sept. 2017 and every price recorded for June in the last five years.

Historic Hass Avocado Prices


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Comparing the volumes of this year to the last can offer some insight as to how these prices have come about. Considering the prices were almost flat last year, the volume data serves as a great benchmark to understand where customers expectations lie.

In this year’s data, an important oversupply can be …

Grapes in Charts: California sees low prices after Mexican supply surge

South and Central California are currently kicking off their table grape harvest season, which typically runs from July 10 to Oct. 15. As such, now is the perfect time to review how the category’s volumes and prices have been behaving.

U.S. grape volumes and prices (non-organic)


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
In late May we began observing a steady climb in table grape volumes (in orange). While these peaked two weeks ago, they have remained above the 20-million-mark ever since.

Looking at this year’s shipments by origin, we can see that once Chile’s production began finishing up, Mexico promptly started supplying the market.

2019 Table grapes’ weekly arrival volumes in the U.S. by origin (non-organic)


(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
What’s more, Mexico has been supplying the market at an incredible rate. In fact, it has nearl…

Blackberries In Charts: California leads impressive category growth

Catching up on random industry reading material, your author stumbled across a paper from the University of Arizona that mentioned Walter Knott – one of the early berry enthusiasts in California.

On a personal note, having a father from the LA Area, the name stood out to me immediately from visits to my grandparents’ house as a child.

Although Knott’s Berry Farms started out selling berries and jams on the side of the road, the company evolved into a restaurant with a ghost town and rides to entertain guests as they waited.

Today Knotts Berry Farms is a name with strong ties to the fresh produce industry, but has completely transformed itself into an amusement park with 40 roller coasters.

In the random twists and turns that the industry can take you down, this reference brought a smile to my face and I thought I would use it as a jumping off point to look at blackberries and California’s role in the U.S. Markets.

During the last nine years, blackberries saw an impressive 56% inc…

Strawberries in Charts: Lower production brings prices back to normal

Last year we published a story about the largest strawberry crop ever seen and how it had greatly pushed down market prices, concerning many producers (Strawberries in Charts: The king of berries sees its biggest month ever).

This story expanded on a report from Rabobank that estimated a 36% shortfall in production for this summer. This decrease could have created a very dramatic change in market conditions (Strawberries in Charts: Expected California shortage, why aren’t last two months of high prices a model?).

So after so much speculation, it’s exciting to come full circle and see what actually came to fruition.

To bring the situation up to date, we offer the following chart, showing the strawberry volumes that have been produced by/shipped to the U.S.

Immediately noticeable is the dramatic difference in volume that was recorded in May this year, an 18% drop in volume compared to the same period last year.

Strawberry volumes in the U.S. market


Source: USDA Market News via Agrono…

Blueberries in Charts: Finding opportunities in the gaps

The blueberry community will come together in Vancouver, Canada, next week for the International Blueberry Organization (IBO) Summit, with Agronometrics’ CEO Colin Fain presenting some of the research his team has done for the organization. All attendees are sure to gain some exciting insight about how and why the blueberry industry has been growing.

The industry got its start only a little more than a hundred years ago. At that time, Elizabeth White sold the first commercial blueberries out of her farm in New Jersey, U.S., bringing this highly nutritious fruit to commercial markets. Since then the fruit has been transformed into a cultural phenomenon. In fact, it came into popular consciousness in the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, when Violet turned into the fruit. More recently, scientific research in the 1990’s and 2000’s has made the fruit a health icon, driving the impressive growth of the category that we see today.

Exemplifying the growth that the cat…

Avocados in Charts: Will lower volumes from Peru fuel higher prices?

Peru has the golden opportunity to produce avocados right when the market most needs it. Coming in on the heels of California’s supply and right before Chile’s, Peru’s season happens to be countercyclical to Mexico’s with its volumes arriving in the market right when Mexico has the hardest time producing.

Avocado movements in lbs 2018


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Because of its fortunate positioning, Peru’s presence in the U.S. Market has been growing impressively, rushing to keep up with demand right in the middle of the U.S.’s summer. In 2010, the USDA reported 300,000 lbs of imports from Peru, while in 2018 we saw Peru send an impressive 88 million lbs.

Avocado shipments to the US from Peru


(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
In fresh produce, timing is everything. Fortunately for Peru, timing works in its favor. June, July, a…

Oranges in Charts: Florida’s volumes fall while Chile’s rise

Having been affected by diseases and hurricanes, Florida’s citrus production is currently less than a third of what it was a decade ago. For many years Florida was the leading citrus producer in the U.S. However, now California holds that title.

The chart below shows Florida’s decline over the last several years, with the state dropping almost 100 million boxes since 2010. Over the same period, Chile has seen significant growth with its orange volumes in the U.S. market.

Since 2017, volumes of fresh oranges from both regions have been similar.

Historic annual volumes (KG) of Chilean and Floridian oranges in the U.S. market


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Despite the slight recovery in 2018, the start of the 2019 fresh orange season in Florida saw a lighter crop. In fact, its volume was lower than in the last five years, as can be seen below.

Monthly volumes of oranges from Florida in the U.S.


(Source: USDA M…

Asparagus in Charts: Mexico's prices hit five-year low in U.S.

Asparagus is a product that has seen increasing consumption globally over the last few years, positioning it as a gourmet food item due to its nutritional characteristics and taste.

The two main suppliers of asparagus to the U.S. market over the last nine years have been Mexico and Peru - two of the world’s top exporters. Since 2015 there has been a sustained increase in volumes in the U.S. market, as can be seen in the charts below.

Historic volumes of asparagus arrivals in the U.S. market, by origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
This increase in volume is mainly due to the rise in supplies from Mexico. For example, in April 2019, shipments of 17,000 metric tons (MT) were registered - a five year high and 22% up on the same month last year.

Historic monthly volumes of Mexican asparagus in the U.S. market


(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live upda…

Apples in Charts: Honeycrisp, the queen of the U.S. market

Apples are a high-volume fruit commodity which growers need to produce very efficiently in order to be profitable, and the U.S. is no exception to this rule.

Apples from numerous origins are sold in the U.S. market, which is supplied principally by fruit from Washington State, as can be seen in the chart below.

Average historic arrival volumes of apples in the U.S. market, by origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Average historic apple prices in the U.S. market have oscillated between around US$1.00 and US$1.75 per kilo over the last decade.

Historic weekly prices (USD/KG) of apples in the U.S. market


(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
But in the panorama of apples in the U.S., there is one variety that has stood out from the others – Honeycrisp. This queen of the U.S. apple market has great growth potential and excellent prospects…