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Apples in Charts - With prices are at a four year high, how will a 5% drop in Chiles crop play out?

Over the last three weeks, apple prices on the spot market reached the highest we have seen in the last four years, surpassing the previous record holder which was 2016.

Historic Apple Prices, Non-Organic, Tray Pack

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
The increase in pricing is arguably the result of a 13% decrease in Washington's production, observed from October through February. This has left the markets with volumes very reminiscent of 2016.

Historic Apple Volumes, Non-Organic

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
This bigger picture looking at the markets brings us to the Chilean season, which is already underway. Taking Chile into context it is important to keep in mind that in 2018 the country represented only 3% of the U.S. market, so it is much more susceptible to these macro changes than other origins. Another factor to keep in mind…
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Limes in Charts - Prices Spike Doubling in one Week

Lime prices have taken a sudden upshift, doubling in the last week and making for very dramatic charts that are hard not to write about. In this article I’ll look at some historical data and what I believe are the market mechanics driving these sudden jumps.

Lime Prices, Non-Organic

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
This isn’t the first time we have seen such price spikes, but the time period when this happens is a bit of a moving target. This year's spike comes two weeks after last year’s, and before similar spikes observed other years. From the historic data, we can also appreciate that there is no obvious roof to how far the prices can go as previous years have all risen above a weekly average of USD $40 with the highest prices reaching above USD $80 in 2014.

Historic Lime Prices, Non-Organic

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]

Strawberries in Charts - Expected shortage during the California season, why aren't last two months of high prices a model?

As we come out of the winter months and spring starts to creep into our lives, strawberry volumes are begin to hit the market as the season ramps up. On the heels of particularly high prices over the the last couple of months, this ramp up has most been noticed by massive volumes from Florida which have brought prices rushing down over the last two weeks. In light of this dramatic scene I want to look at what the market data can explain about the high prices we just saw and what that might have to say about the upcoming California Season.

Strawberries, Non Organic, Prices and Volumes

(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
Because of deficits from Southern California and Florida, this seasons volumes have been consistently lower than last. Right up until Florida started sending good amounts of fruit which matches up very closely with the fall in price.

Strawberry, Non-Organic, Volumes

(Source: USDA Market News via Agron…

Pears in Charts: Recent pricing pushed below previous years’ levels

Taking a look at the pear markets, the first thing that struck me when I began researching this dataset is that the market appears to be in decline, which I haven't found to be very common among the different commodities we work with. From the available data it seems that 2015 was pears’ best year, after which volumes began to decrease, dropping by almost one fourth since their high point of 2012.

Initially, the drop in volume coincided with increases in pricing, but that trend has since tapered off, seeing both a drop in price and volume over the last two years. This tells me that the demand for pears is waning. At the same, time other fruits are seeing growth, so it appears that consumers are choosing to spend their dollars on other products, which has been eating into pears’ market share within the produce aisle. I don’t have any objective data on what products are taking market share from pears, but any comments or opinions on the subject would be more than welcome.

Pear Non O…

Grapes in Charts: Record California volumes reverse Chilean pricing trends

During a very atypical season, table grape volumes have fallen dramatically over the last couple few weeks to usher in unusually high prices. In this article I’ll look at how Chile is developing, which will serve as a complement to my previous piece on the subject - Grapes in Charts: How will Chile’s expected crop affect U.S. market against backdrop of low prices?

                Grape Prices and Volumes (Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics) [Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
Although it is normal for prices to increase as volumes fall, what is strikingly abnormal about this season so far is how the pricing trends have gone completely against the normal trends, steadily rising throughout the Chilean Season as opposed to entering high and slowly falling as the season progresses.
Historic Grape Prices from Chile (Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics) [Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
The cause of this backwardness in t…

Avocados in Charts: Record volumes for Super Bowl sent prices down – will this trend continue?

Avocado prices have continued to drop in the U.S. market after Mexico sent record volumes to satisfy the demand for the Super Bowl. This has alarmed some in the industry, many of whom still a bit shaky after the most recent strike which only ended three months ago.

The rollercoaster ride of shipments over those three months has set records, with the highest volumes-ever sent to the U.S. in the three weeks leading up to the Big Game at the start of February. However, the total volume sent from week 26 to week 5 are only 94% of the amount shipped over the same period in 2015/16, the current record holder for that timeframe.

Considering that the season is not over and there is still fruit to be picked, I took a look at what happened three years ago to get an idea of what we might be headed into.

                Avocado Historic Weekly Volumes (Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics) [Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
The similarities between 2015/16 and th…

Mangoes in Charts: With supply deficits expected over coming weeks, could prices double?

With the industry reporting deficits in volume compared with last year (Peruvian mango exports to drop by more than a third, says industry rep and Mexican mango season to get underway with Ataulfo variety), here we take a look at the industry data available to gain insights over what might be in store.

The Virtual Graphs tool on the Mango Boards website does a great job of visualising the associations shipping projections against last years arrivals. Through the tool, which might look familiar given that it was built by Agronometrics, we can see a glaring hole in supply expected to span about eight weeks.

When looking at this data keep in mind that the shipping projections are volumes leaving their respective origins. As such there will be a delay before they arrive in the US.

US Mango Board Virtual Graphs (Source: US Mango Board Virtual Graphs)
Looking at movements from last year, we can see that the producing regions most affected will be Peru and Mexico.

Mango Volumes by Origin 2018

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

This article is the culmination of two previous posts that explored which commodities grew the most and the least through prices and volumes in both 2018 and over the last eight years. You can catch up on those previous articles with the following links:
The Winners and Losers of 2018 (Part 1 of 3)
The Winners and Losers of 2018 (Part 2 of 3)

In the process of writing the previous two articles, we saw that many of the commodities that had the highest prices also had the lowest volumes, and vice-versa. This begs the question, where are the best opportunities in this industry, where is growth and how do we define it? So in this article we will look at creating an index that combines the two factors and see if it can shed some light on this.

One of the most contentious commodities of 2018 was avocados, which saw the biggest drop in average yearly price compared with all other commodities we track. Avocados also saw one of the largest increases in volume of any commodity that we track. In …