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Avocados in Charts: An empty promise for California exporters in China

The newest trade agreement with China signed on the 15th of January offers California Avocado producers a window of opportunity into the Chinese markets. Specifically the text in annex 11 of the agreement reads:

“8. Within three months of the date of entry into force of this Agreement, USDA/APHIS and the GACC shall sign and implement a phytosanitary protocol to allow the importation of California Hass avocados into China.”

In light of this piece of news we take a look at the market data to see if we can estimate what the impact of this new agreement could be on the industry.

The production of avocados in California has remained relatively stable for the last 20 years with an average floating somewhere around 160 M Kilos.

The prices on the other hand have generally been increasing steadily. The highest prices are usually the result of a shortfall in production in California, which in 2019 coincided with a year of low production in Mexico, offering the highest prices California pro…
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Grapes in Charts: A look back at the last 20 years in the U.S. market

"If you don't know where you've come from, you don't know where you're going", as the famous quote goes. In this edition of 'In Charts', we would like to show how the U.S. grape market has evolved over the last 20 years in terms of origins, varieties, markets and prices.

Starting with origins, we can see that California has been the leading supplier, with a slight increase over recent years. Chile has been in number-two position and has seen a gradual decline for much of the last two decades.

In a distant third, Mexico has seen an increase in the last three years, while Peru has recently begun to boost its presence from a low base.

There are other origins, but none of them are very relevant in the U.S. market.

Historical volumes of grapes in the U.S., by origin. 2000-2020


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Looking at varieties, as you can see below Flame Seedless is the qu…

Fruit in Charts: Chilean blueberries and avocados end year with lower volumes

Welcome to the first 'In Charts' edition of the year. Here we would like to highlight how volumes of Chilean avocados, blueberries and cherries behaved in the U.S. market in the final weeks of 2019.

There was a sharp decline in the supply of Chilean avocados in the U.S. relative to previous years. Even by week 47, shipments were much lower than the five prior seasons, with only 13,608 kilos recorded entering that week.

The situation came amid a lower crop in Chile due to the effects of the ongoing drought in production regions.

Historical volumes of Chilean avocados in the U.S. market.


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
As for blueberry volumes, these were also much lower in the last couple of months of the year. Although unlike avocados, these months mark the beginning of the blueberry season.

In December, volumes arriving at U.S. ports were registered at 2.4m kilos - which is 68% lower year-on-ye…

Raspberries in Charts: Record Mexican volumes send prices crashing

The U.S. raspberry market has grown over the past few years, and the primary supplying regions remain Mexico and California.

As seen in the chart below, Mexico is responsible for the increase in volumes. The country surpassed California in 2015 as the leading supplier of raspberries. Later in this article, we will see how this increase in volume, particularly in recent months, has pushed down prices.

Historical volumes of raspberries in the U.S.


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Relative to average prices, trends have been downward. A balance has been created in recent years where volumes have shown downward trends.

Historical prices of raspberries in the U.S.


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
An increase in shipments from Mexico in recent years has driven the rise in the total volume of raspberries in the market.

In November of 2…

Fruit in Charts: Lower exports of key Chilean commodities amid social unrest

Following up on our previous article on the same subject, we continue to track the effect of the protests in Chile of fresh fruit exports to the U.S.

As protests in Chile continue, we will also continue our coverage of how this event is playing out in the market data provided by the USDA. From the chart below we can see that over the last six weeks Chilean imports have seen an important decrease compared to last year.

Historic Imports of Chilean Fruit to the US


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Looking at which fruits were the most represented last year, avocados, blueberries and cherries come to the forefront..

Imports of Chilean Fruit to the US by Commodity


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
The most drastic change can be seen in avocados. However, it’s important to note that last year during this time period Mexico was on strike,…

Cherries in Charts: Chile sends lowest opening volumes to U.S. in years

The southern hemisphere cherry season has begun in the U.S., and so in this article we will look at what has been taking place in the market.

As can be seen in the chart below, the U.S. market is supplied by various origins. Washington state is the biggest supplier, followed by California, Oregon and Chile.

Historical volumes of cherries in the U.S. market, by origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
The cherry season in the U.S. is concentrated in a few weeks, as can be seen below. The chart also shows that the total volumes in the market have been rising slightly over the years.

Cherry volumes in the U.S. market, by origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Between November and January, the U.S. cherry market is supplied mainly by Chile, New Zealand and Argentina. This follows on the local supplies from Washington, California, Ore…

Apples in Charts: Low prices on a massive surge by the Northwest

Apple prices this time of year tend to be relatively stable. However, this year looks to deviate from the historical trend, knocking almost three dollars off last year’s shipping point prices to hit the lowest we have seen in four years.

Apples, Non-Organic, Historical Price (Cartons Tray Pack)


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
When we look into the volumes we get a glimpse into what could be causing the dramatic changes in pricing. Since week 40, the industry has sent an average of 18% more volume every week - a massive uptick in volumes led by Washington. Week 47 was one of the biggest differences in volume, adding up to 19.6m kilograms more than what was reported the previous year.

Apples, Non-Organic, Historical Volumes (KG)


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
If we add in the volumes from the previous four years, we can see that …

Pears in Charts: Stark Crimson - the star of the U.S market

For the last nine years, there has been a star variety in the U.S. pear market in terms of prices - Stark Crimson. As can be seen in the chart below, the cultivar's average prices have been head and shoulders above the rest.

In 2018, the prices were US$2.61 per kilogram on average - a whole US$1 higher than the next closest variety, Summer Bartlett.

Historical average pear prices in the U.S. over the last nine years, by variety


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
This year has been no exception for Stark Crimson. The price peak came in week 30, with an average of US$3.19 per kilogram, far above other cultivars.

In the chart below, we can also see that the variety's season is short in relation to other varieties, which can be in supply year-round. Stark Crimson is only present in the market between August and September. The season this year was particularly short, lasting only six weeks.

Weekly averag…

Grapes in Charts: Prices hit five-year high despite heavy October volumes

The seasonality of the grape market in the U.S. is clearly marked. At the start of the year, California volumes fall off and are replaced by Peru and then Chile. Chilean grapes finish around May or June, when Mexican begins to send fruit.

Once Mexico finishes, California starts the cycle up again, as can be seen in the chart below.

Arrival volume of grapes in the U.S., by origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Currently, average reported prices of California grapes are at a five-year high in the U.S. market - around US$21.10 per box. At the same time last year, prices were at their lowest in five years - just US$14.96 per box.

Average prices of California grapes in the U.S. market


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Despite that, in terms of supply levels from California, October saw the greatest volumes in five years for that mont…

Kiwifruit in Charts: Chile saw highest prices in five years this season

Chilean kiwifruit was having a golden moment a few years ago, until the arrival in the country of what is known as the kiwazo - an explosive rise in the number of orchards. This led to a sharp rise in export volumes, which in turn impacted prices, making the business less profitable.

This year, however, Chilean kiwifruit fetched the highest prices in five years in the U.S. market. This is largely due to a 15% drop in export volumes (and a 17% drop in shipments to the U.S.). The lower supplies largely came about due to weather-related issues in the central O'Higgins region.

Average prices of Chilean kiwifruit arrivals in the U.S.


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
The chart below clearly shows how volumes of Chilean kiwifruit have differed this year compared to last year.

Volume of Chilean kiwifruit in the U.S. market


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart w…