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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 …
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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…

Asparagus in Charts: Large Mexican supplies hit pricing this fall

The U.S. asparagus market has over the last 26 weeks been supplied mainly by Mexico and Peru, along with smaller supplies from the states of Michigan and Washington, as can be seen in the chart below. This has been the case for many years.

In this article, I will look more closely at the volumes and prices of Mexican asparagus in the U.S. market, and what has been happening over recent weeks.

Volumes (KG) of asparagus in the U.S. market, by origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Over the last several weeks, volumes of Mexican asparagus in the U.S. have been the highest in five years over that period.

This has coincided with a fall in supplies of Peruvian asparagus, exports of which have been affected since the 2017-18 season when the El NiƱo weather phenomenon hit the country. But Peru is expected to overtake Mexico as the leading asparagus supplier to global markets.

Volume (KG) of asparagus from Mexico…

Fruit in Charts: How Chilean protests could affect fruit exports

The protests in Chile are a harrowing event. It is astounding how a since-withdrawn US$0.04 increase in metro prices has caused a million people to take to the streets in Santiago and for the president to ask for the resignation of his entire cabinet.

The cause and effect of these events may leave many scratching their heads, but observers of the South American country claim what we are seeing is a host of frustrations that have long plagued the country finally bubble to the surface, most notably income inequality.

I lived in Chile for six years and it is a country that is near and dear to my heart. It is where I got my start in the industry and where much of the Agronometrics team is based. Chile is an amazing country, full of incredibly friendly people and breathtaking landscapes ranging from the driest deserts in the world in the far north through nearly every type of ecosystem imaginable to the glaciers of Patagonia at the far south.

To U.S. readers, a journey through Chile is…

Berries in Charts: The category's evolution over the last nine years

Coming out of PMA Fresh Summit, I feel fortunate to have been able to have had a great many conversations with industry leaders from around the world. This article is inspired by one of those conversations.

One of the functions of working with data is to offer perspective. So, after being asked how the different berries stacked up against each other I brought up this chart, which created one of those invaluable ‘ah ha’ moments.

Below you can see how the different berries have evolved over the last nine years compared with each other.

Historical berry volumes in the U.S. market


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
My hope with this chart isn't to explain some interesting market phenomenon, but rather just to offer it as an interesting point of view to better understand the role of each berry in the U.S. market.

Written by: Colin Fain
Original published in FreshFruitPortal.com on October 22, 2019 (Link)

Blueberries in Charts: A look at Chile's export forecast in turbulent waters

Chile’s recent announcement of a record blueberry crop forecast for the upcoming season came amid two weeks that saw the lowest prices in nine years in the U.S. market. With this backdrop, here I take a quantitative look at how the Chile's season might develop at the height of its campaign and what could be expected in terms of pricing.

Historic Non-Organic Blueberry Prices (USD per Kilo)


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
The first thing to keep in mind is that the blueberry landscape is dynamic and changes quickly - most recently it has been redefined by sudden the incorporation of Mexico and Peru. Neither of these origins had much of a presence in 2010, with Peru making the most dramatic increase after 2014.

Non-Organic Blueberry Volumes by Origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
The new volume is a boon both for consumers an…

Avocados in Charts: What can we expect from the market during the rest of 2019?

As Mexico takes over as the main avocado supplier of the U.S. market, producers are setting their sights on the fall season leading up to the end of the year, right before volumes begin ramping up for the Superbowl.

In this scenario, I want to take a look at what insights the market data has to offer and what we could expect in the coming months.

After the period of massive volatility through the spring and summer, volumes are finally settling down. They are almost perfectly matching up to where they were last year, with September volumes coming in just 1% lower year-on-year.

Non-Organic Avocado Volumes by Origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
At the same time, we can appreciate a healthy increase of 5% in prices compared to last year. Price rises when volumes are equal are to be expected, as they reflect the growth of the category. Generally, this growth can vary from month to month, averaging about 6%…

Grapes in Charts: How California's low storage volumes could impact prices

With California’s grape season reaching its peak in October and winding down shortly after that, we begin to welcome the southern hemisphere to the U.S. market. The southern hemisphere will slowly increase its volume before taking over as the main supplier in January.

On the news of lower cold storage volumes recently reported on by the USDA, I wanted to look at the impact of this information on the rest of the California season and the upcoming Peruvian and Chilean seasons.

Non-Organic Grape Volumes by Origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
To better assess how the lower inventories came about and what they could mean for the months to come, we begin by looking at California, which is just coming off a bumper crop last year.

So far California’s season has been 6% lower than last year - not too far off from the predictions of 3% reduction on last year made at the beginning of the season (we spoke about i…