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Blackberries in Charts: Strategic growth leads to more stable pricing


During the last eight years, blackberries showed an impressive 49% increase in volume. Most has been added by Mexico, which has grown by 45% during the same time period, but attention should also be called to California, which has grown 116%, strategically filling the gap left by Mexico’s season.
US Blackberry Movements by Origin in Lbs 
(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

As the gap that was created by Mexico has been filled in, the effect for consumers has been a general smoothing of what are typically rather volatile prices. Although I haven’t found hard evidence to back this opinion, I know that I’m not the only one in the industry who believes that offering consumers steady pricing – so that they know how much they should expect to pay when they go shopping – will in turn encourage people to buy more often, further increasing demand over time.

U.S. blackberry shipping point prices (12×6 Oz Cups) in USD
(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

Right on the heels of a strong finish by Mexico, the category usually sees a surge in prices in June, which is exactly the window that producers California, Guatemala and the U.S. Southeast have been aiming for.

U.S. blackberry shipping point prices (8×1 Lb Containers), comparing the last four years
(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

Looking at the last four years of volumes gives us a better idea of how blackberries have evolved. We can see how the total volume has been increasing year after year, particularly between June and September.

U.S. blackberry movements by month in Lbs, comparing the last four years
(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

It looks like June this year isn’t an exception to high prices, already coming higher than the last two years on record. Guatemala, which recently suffered from a devastating volcano eruption, and California both came in with less volume than we have typically seen, which could be the first signs of an interesting season to come.
US blackberry shipping point prices (8×1 Lb containers)
(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)
 
Written by: Colin Fain
Original published in FreshFruitPortal.com on July 03, 2018 (Link)

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