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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…
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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…

Grapes in charts: U.S. market has seen flat volumes and falling prices

I will start this article with the million-dollar question - is it sustainable for table grape growers to send fruit to a market which over the last decade has seen flat pricing despite constantly rising production costs?

There are five origins which have dominated the U.S. market over the last decade, in terms of volumes, which are Central California, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Southern California. Central California is the leading origin, with a relatively stable supply over the years, as can be observed below.

Historic table grape arrival volumes in the U.S., by origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
I wanted to show the following chart to illustrate the similarity between the different seasons in terms of grape volumes in the U.S. The volumes seem to be fairly flat over time (except for Central California in 2018), and of the same seasonality.

Historic table grape weekly arrival volumes in the U.S., by ori…

Blueberries in Charts: Mexico sends record volumes to U.S. market

With the California blueberry season now underway, current forecasts are pointing to a significant year-on-year increase in harvests. This, along with a delay in the Mexican season, has led to relatively concentrated volumes and resulted in total arrival volumes in the U.S. at a five-year high in April, as you can see in the chart below.

Historic monthly arrival volumes of blueberries in the U.S.


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
The U.S. blueberry market has been growing significantly every year, amid increasing demand and global exports. One of the production countries that has seen the biggest increase is Mexico.

Meanwhile, per-kilo prices in week 17 were US$7.90, the lowest in five years, and US$0.20 lower on average the same date last year.

Historic blueberry prices in the U.S. market (USD per kilogram)


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

Bananas in Charts: U.S. market supplies hit five-year low

Over the last few months, numerous weather-related issues have affected banana production in Central and South America.

The El Niño phenomenon has led to droughts, high temperatures, and heavy rains, among other issues, mainly in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

In this In Charts article, we will look at how banana volumes have behaved in the U.S., both historically and over the last few weeks of this year.

In the following chart you can see that current volumes in the market at a five-year low.

Historic volumes of bananas in the U.S. market


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Most banana supplies in the U.S. come from Central and South America and the Caribbean, with Guatemala the country that has historically shipped the greatest volume to the market, followed by Costa Rica.

In the chart below you can get a sense of the historic volumes from the different origins over the last nine years.

Arrival…

Kiwifruit in Charts: With stocks at five-year high, how will prices fare for Chile?

The kiwifruit in a berry that originates in a large area of China, but especially in the Yangtze River Valley. Introduced into New Zealand in 1904, it has since been cultivated in numerous countries around the world. It was given the name ‘kiwi’ in New Zealand, possibly due to the similarity with the small, flightless bird native to the country. The fruit arrived in Chile in the 1980s, helping growers to diversify their offerings and improve profits.

Today the situation is quite different, and in this In Charts article we will look at what could be in store for the Chilean campaign in the U.S. market, and how it could compare to last year.

As we can see in the chart below, kiwifruit volumes in the U.S. in March 2019 were the highest in five years, which caused a slight price drop over the last few weeks.

Historic volume of kiwifruit (KG) in U.S. market


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
According to the Chilea…

Clementines in Charts - It's almost ClemenTime for Chile

Clementines are among the author’s favorite Spring fruits because they check all the boxes: a goldilocks size (not too large, not too small), easy to carry, easier to peel -its segments pull out with more ease than Legos- all whilst providing a very pleasing sweet flavor without the high acidity that often accompanies citrus. And as a bonus: because it's a hybrid, if cultivated properly it grows with no seeds. The name Clementine comes from the 19th century French missionary named Marie-Clément Rodierem, who is believed to be the first origin for this hybrid citrus while working at an orphanage in Algeria.

Today, and when we give a bird’s eye view at shipments to-and-within the US Market, we observe how Clementines experience a two-peaks-two valleys type of landscape in any given year.

Clementines, Non-Organic, Monthly Shipments for previous 4 years


(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
[Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here]
Whatismore, April is one …