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Looking ahead to grapes — Pricing and availability information

Overview of table grapes in U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.

Original published in on May 18, 2020

Conventional availability and seasonality

Quarter 1

Available out of Chile and Peru at ports of entry. Packed in 18-pound cartons, average f.o.b. costs are normally in the mid to high $20s to begin the quarter, dropping to the mid- to high teens in March. Each size larger runs a $1-$2 premium. Different varieties run different costs depending on volumes, but expect the newer, high-flavor varieties to be more expensive.

Price of grapes of Chile and Peru in U.S. market.

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

Quarter 2

Available out of Chile at ports of entry to start, then transitioning to Mexico through Arizona and California towards the end. Packed in 18-pound cartons, transitioning to 19-pound, the average f.o.b. costs tend to spike into the twenties early in the quarter. In 2019 costs increased until the start of Mexico, when costs declined into the low to mid-teens. Larger grape sizes carry a premium.

Quarter 3

Product of Mexico finishes, and grapes enter prime time with product from California. Packed in 19-pound cartons. Varieties start and stop all season but mostly trade in the high teens, normally declining throughout the quarter. There is an approximate $3 premium for large over medium fruit.

Price of grapes of California and Mexico in U.S. market.

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

Quarter 4

California is the main source in Q4. F.o.b. costs begin to rise into the low to mid- $20s as the season starts to wind down. While all colors are available, some varieties command a premium, as does larger sizing. By mid-December, 18-pound Peruvian product becomes available. F.o.b. costs are normally in the $30s, with a premium on larger fruit and no pattern of differences between red and green varieties.

Sales Opportunities

Opportunities to push grape sales are best in the summer and fall months. Because varieties are often finishing as other varieties are starting, there are frequent opportunities with lower-cost fruit on the varieties that are finishing. These opportunities can offer fruit at approximately $0.75-$0.85 per pound f.o.b. There are many new flavorful grape varieties that can breathe new life into this traditional category. Find several to designate as signature varieties for your grape operations.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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