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Berries in Charts: Large volumes and Covid-19 lead to low prices across the board

In last week's 'In Charts' article we spoke about the challenging pricing situation for Florida blueberry growers, resulting from a combination of lower sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic and also rising import volumes from Mexico.

Today we are going to use our charts to show how the price declines have not been limited to blueberries in the berry category, but extend to raspberries, blackberries, and to a lesser extent, strawberries


Let's begin with blueberries, which have suffered an abrupt decline in pricing over recent weeks, after having seen steadily rising prices in 2020 until mid-March.

In the chart below we can see how in week 16, prices of conventional blueberries were US$5.29 per kilo, 26% lower than in 2019. Volumes currently in the U.S. market are from Florida and Mexico

Prices of non-organic blueberries (USD per kilo) in the U.S. market

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


Raspberries have also experienced an uptick in pricing over the last few weeks.

The situation with raspberries is similar, with a steady rise in prices throughout much of 2020 that was interrupted by a sudden and sharp decline from week 13. This has come amid the largest volumes from Southern California and Mexico in recent years.

In week 16 average prices of conventional raspberries were US$4.61 per kilo, a massive 55% lower year-on-year.

Prices of non-organic raspberries (USD per kilo) in the U.S. market

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


Strawberries have experienced the smallest price decline of all the berry categories, and have even seen a slight rebound in the last week.

In week 16 the average price of conventional strawberries was just 14% lower year-on-year at US$2.60 per kilo. Supply origins are currently California, Mexico and North Carolina. Prices from North Carolina are much higher than the other two origins.

Prices of non-organic strawberries (USD per kilo) in the U.S. market

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


Blackberries, like blueberries and raspberries, have experienced a sharp drop in prices over the last few weeks.

Prices as of week 16 were 46% lower year-on-year at US$3.51 per kilo. Volumes in the U.S. market are supplied by Mexico and Central America, with the latter fetching the best prices.

Prices of non-organic blackberries (USD per kilo) in the U.S. market

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

Written by: Cristian Crespo
Original published in on April 21, 2020 (Link)


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