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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…
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Fruit in Charts: How Chilean protests could affect fruit exports

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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 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…

Avocados in Charts: What will be Colombia's future role in the U.S. market?

With all the excitement being built up around the World Avocado Congress in Medellin this week, I thought I would put together a piece on what the USDA data can so far tell us about the Colombian avocados, and what implications they could have for the future of the U.S. market.

This first thing to mention when looking at the USDA data from Colombia is that it is a nascent origin. It still has a long way to go before the U.S. becomes an important destination for the country. According to UN Comtrade, last year Colombia exported about 30m kilos of avocados in total, of which a negligible volume went to the U.S.

While this year saw in an impressive amount of growth, the volumes are still only a fraction of the country’s export capacity. The first bits and pieces of data that are trickling in, however, are beginning to tell an interesting story.

The data that we have so far received shows an important spike in volumes from Colombia in June. Conveniently, this is the month with the hig…

Blueberries in Charts: How does Peru's expected big increase play into its export strategy?

Peru's blueberry exporters this season expect to ship between 100,000 metric tons (MT) and 110,000MT, according to Roberto Vargas, president of ProArandanos. Even if we just take the lower end of what is expected, this would mean a 28% increase over last year’s 78,000MT.

This volume by no means makes Peru the largest producer in the world. But the rate of growth the origin has experienced is the fastest the world has ever seen.

Even if we just look at the imports to the U.S., we can clearly see how Peruvian producers have gone from sending symbolic volumes five years ago to becoming a major player - and the largest supplier during the height of their production window.

Non-Organic Blueberry Volumes from Peru

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
As the 2019-20 season gets underway, Peru has already sent an impressive volume to the U.S.; exports have risen seven-fold from 213MT to 1,400MT.

This increase in …

Pears in Charts: USA Pears CEO on two interesting factors this season

In response to the article we wrote a couple of weeks ago, I spoke to Kevin Moffitt, the President and CEO of USA Pears. He had some more insight about the upcoming pear season, which I wanted to share with our readers in this week’s In Charts installment.

Because the last article focused on the Washington market data, Kevin was prompted to mention that the Hood River district, in Oregon, is forecasting more pears than the Wenatchee district in Washington - the first time this has happened in many years. Washington, however, will still put up the largest numbers overall.

From the standpoint of a market analyst, this is an interesting development, we don't know if the switch between Hood River and Wenatchee will be a one time event or not, but it does seem to reinforce the downward trend that has been observed in Washington fruit over the last five years against an increased market share for Oregon.

Non-Organic Pears Volumes Sold on the Domestic Market by State of Origin

Source: …

Lemons in Charts: Chile sees much lower prices on higher volumes

As Chile’s lemon season winds down, we take a quick look at the market data to see where things are.

Prices and Volumes of Non-Organic Lemons from Chile

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
With August being the height of the season, Chile’s lemon exporters usually wind down their activities in September. This year, however, it looks like the season came a bit early, sending 21.7m kilograms in July - more than twice the amount that was exported in 2018.

August is already seeing a decrease in volume, but not too much lower than the same time period the previous season.

Non-Organic Lemon Volumes From Chile

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
In prices, the differences between the two seasons are more pronounced. In July - perhaps reflecting volumes - the pricing was almost half of what we were seeing the previous year.

In August, where vo…