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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…
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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…

Asparagus in Charts: Mexico sees eight weeks of high prices

Asparagus is a curious vegetable. Generally regarded to have been a part of the human diet for the last 2000 years, it seems to surface through archaeological artifacts among the Egyptian culture. Having been known to have been a part of the Roman diet and feasted upon the European nobility, it makes its way to the Americas in the mid-1800s.

Today asparagus is one of the fastest-growing categories we track, expanding 29% in the last four years from 192M Kilos to 250M Kg per year, mostly on the backs of Mexico and Peru.

The last two months, however, have seen Mexican asparagus stand out, offering a strong premium over Peru.

Non-Organic Asparagus Prices per Kilo by Origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
These volumes come in the low season, on the shoulders of the main part of Mexico's season. That corresponds to the production season of Guanajuato.

Historic Mexico Non-Organic Asparagus Volumes


Source: U…

Limes in Charts: Prices double in just one week

Limes are seeing a massive increase in prices in the U.S. market. They doubled from $16.83 Wednesday last week to $34.17 on Wednesday of this week.

Non-Organic Lime Prices (40 Lb Cartons)


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Although lime prices are not strangers to sudden price rises, these usually happen between February and May. This particular jolt in pricing therefore stands by itself against the last four years of much more stable pricing data.

Historic Non-Organic Lime Prices (40 Lb Cartons)


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
The price spike comes as a drought affects Mexican lime production. Maglio Companies this week reported that the drought is lasting longer than expected and supplies will start to get tight as the weeks go on.

Written by: Colin Fain
Original published in FreshFruitPortal.com on August 30, 2019 (Link)

Pears in Charts: What will Washington's season look like?

The largest pear producer in the U.S. is Washington, the king state of pome fruit. The chart below illustrates what the season looks like, bringing to life the last 12 months of volumes and prices.

The Washington pear season runs from August to July in a classic distribution with relatively stable prices that dip as the season evolves. They range from $28.91 for a ⅘ bushel cartons in August to a low of $21.74 in April last year.

Washington Pears Non-Organic Prices and Volumes


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
As we just begin to wrap up last season, we can see Washington’s growth has been impressive. Offering U.S. consumers an increase of 15%, or 31 million kilos, more fruit than they had sent the previous season.

Historic Washington Non-Organic Pear Volumes


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
If we look at the difference in volume be…