Skip to main content

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% increase in volume. Most of the yearly volume has been added by Mexico, whose volume has grown by 45% during the same time period.

However, California has been the origin adding the largest amount of volumes. During the last two years alone, its volumes grew 149%.

U.S. blackberry movements by origin (non-organic)


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

The impressive growth the category has experienced is reflected in a mellowing of prices. These have seen a steady downward trend over the time period observed.

However, when we look at why and how California has grown, it is important to note a significant difference in prices in the U.S. state and Mexico.

U.S. blackberry volumes and prices (non-organic)


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

Much of the difference in price can be appreciated in the commercial windows each origin dominates.

California’s growth, for instance, has come in at a very strategic point, taking advantage of a natural gap in production left by Mexico right between May and September.

U.S. blackberry movements by origin


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


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 California, Guatemala and the U.S. southeast producers have been aiming for.

Historic blackberry shipping point prices (12 6oz cups with lids), non-organic


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


As we can see in the third chart in this report, and despite California’s impressive growth, the total volume arriving to the market between June and September are still the lowest volumes of the year.

This period also coincides with higher demand for other berries during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months as consumers look to dress up their salads, cereals and cakes.

Should California’s growth continue at this rate, it is possible that it will reach a point at which the marginal returns on increased volume may not benefit from the attractive pricing they have historically seen, especially toward the end of the season.

In September 2015, for example, California’s fruit was being sold for US$16.79, only to go for US$11.82 during the same period in 2018.

Written by: Colin Fain
Original published in FreshFruitPortal.com on July 02, 2019 (Link)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Apples in Charts: Honeycrisp, the queen of the U.S. market

Apples are a high-volume fruit commodity which growers need to produce very efficiently in order to be profitable, and the U.S. is no exception to this rule.

Apples from numerous origins are sold in the U.S. market, which is supplied principally by fruit from Washington State, as can be seen in the chart below.

Average historic arrival volumes of apples in the U.S. market, by origin


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
Average historic apple prices in the U.S. market have oscillated between around US$1.00 and US$1.75 per kilo over the last decade.

Historic weekly prices (USD/KG) of apples in the U.S. market


(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can
view this chart with live updates here)
But in the panorama of apples in the U.S., there is one variety that has stood out from the others – Honeycrisp. This queen of the U.S. apple market has great growth potential and excellent prospects…

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 …

Fruit in Charts: The winners and losers of 2018 (Part 3 of 3)

This article is the culmination of two previous posts that explored which commodities grew the most and the least through prices and volumes in both 2018 and over the last eight years. You can catch up on those previous articles with the following links:
The Winners and Losers of 2018 (Part 1 of 3)
The Winners and Losers of 2018 (Part 2 of 3)

In the process of writing the previous two articles, we saw that many of the commodities that had the highest prices also had the lowest volumes, and vice-versa. This begs the question, where are the best opportunities in this industry, where is growth and how do we define it? So in this article we will look at creating an index that combines the two factors and see if it can shed some light on this.

One of the most contentious commodities of 2018 was avocados, which saw the biggest drop in average yearly price compared with all other commodities we track. Avocados also saw one of the largest increases in volume of any commodity that we track. In …