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Strawberries in Charts: Prices looking up for next six months

The role of militaries in the world is a contentious topic at best. However, there is no denying that their existence has brought about many changes that have come to define modern society as we know it. One of these changes is the creation of the strawberry.

A French military engineer Amédée-François Frézier is responsible for the fruit's development. He returned to France from Chile in 1714 with five specimens of an obscure berry called Fragaria chiloensis. When he crossed this berry from the coastal regions of Chile with North America's smaller Fragaria virginiana, what most of us know as a strawberry was born.

Today strawberries are the most commercialized berry in the U.S. They outpace blueberries by more than four to one, and both blackberries and raspberries by more than ten to one. Strawberries are also a seasonal fruit, with volumes hitting their peaks from May to June. On the other hand, their period of lowest supply takes place from November to December.

Historic…
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Blueberries In Charts - Higher prices are coming!

After a well-supplied market saw a period of low prices, the blueberry industry is holding onto their seats, waiting for prices to rise. In fact, they should see this increase in the next couple of weeks. To illustrate the data behind this forecast, the chart below shows the historical trend of prices steadily rising from week 30 to week 40.

Historical U.S. shipping point prices per kilo by week


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
This trend follows the strong seasonality of the blueberry industry, with July reporting the lowest average prices of the year. From there, the industry saw two peaks around April and October.

Interestingly, the period between July and October shows the largest difference in pricing of the entire year's offering.

Historical U.S. shipping point prices per kilo by month


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

Blueberries In Charts: Higher market volumes lead to price cuts

This week’s installment of In Charts is a bit different from most. With the focus of compacting a big punch as simply and clearly as possible, today's report focuses on how the blueberry markets have developed over the last three months with one dramatic chart and an adjoining table.

Blueberry prices and volumes


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
The last three months have been a rocky ride for U.S. blueberry markets; they have seen a 20% increase in category volume over the same period last year. As a result, prices have decreased by 23%. And this sizable drop has shaken up many producers.

The biggest contributor to this glut was Georgia, as the state sent 58% more blueberries into the domestic market than last year. The state also served as the period's largest producing origin.

Although prices in this state changed the most compared to other producing areas, cuts in costs hit all origins. Even sta…

Mangoes In Charts: Mid-year update – how does this season compare to previous years?

Mangoes are a rather peculiar crop. Historians tend to pinpoint their domestication to South Asia well over 3,000 years ago. During the Age of Exploration, mangoes spread to Africa and the Americas, chiefly thanks to the Portuguese.

The trees, called Mangifera indica, can sometimes live beyond the age of 300 years whilst still producing fruits, and is not uncommon for them to surpass the height of 100 feet (30 meters). In addition, any extended exposure to cold temperatures (under -1°C) is lethal for this tropical plant. As a result, U.S. production is scarce and limited to the south of Florida and California.

Import volumes have stayed remarkably stable during the past five years, as evidenced by the following chart:

Historical mango import volumes, non-organic


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
It ought to be noted that Mexico is the largest exporter of mangoes to the U.S., with a long season that spans fr…

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.…

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…