Skip to main content

Greenhouse grown cherries give Washington grower a head start


Overview of the upcoming cherry season by Kam Chauhan of FreshPack Export Sales Ltd, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.


Original published in FreshPlaza.com on April 07, 2021 

Following low temperatures in Washington last week, a small portion of the upcoming cherry crop is likely affected.

“The temperature went down to 24-25 degrees Fahrenheit. We’re seeing damage already but it depends on the area. Kennewick and Foster, WA got some damage. It’s about five percent of the early districts that are affected,” says Kam Chauhan of FreshPack Export Sales based in British Columbia and Washington.

That said, the temperatures hit what’s anticipated to be a bumper crop. “Last year was a lighter crop but this year we’ve had a lot of chill hours and lots of good weather so the buds are overloaded,” says Chauhan, noting that good cherry crops are anticipated from Oregon, California and British Columbia, Canada as well.

Volumes (in Lb) of cherries in the US Market in 2020
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Later start for cherries

However the crops will get a later start this year by seven to ten days which means harvest is set to begin at the end of May or June 1st.

Starting date (volume in Lb) of Washington cherry season
Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Along with outdoor crops, Chauhan also has a 2.5-acre fully automatic and temperature-controlled greenhouse for cherry growing and that harvest should begin on May 24th. “Greenhouse cherries go for about 10 days and it’s to have the first Washington cherries,” he says. “We were getting around $120/box last year and we’re already pre-sold this year.”

Fresh Pack is also working on expanding its greenhouse cherry acreage to 10 acres within the next year. On top of all of this, it also has an additional 300 acres of cherries under cover in Washington. Altogether, Fresh Pack will have cherries until August 4th due to increased acreage at high elevation, though 85-90 percent of its production is exported. “In 2021, our volume will be double. From 2018-2019 our volume doubled and we’re now doubling again from 2020-2021 with more than two million boxes,” says Chauhan.

Stronger demand in India

In terms of exports, Fresh Pack sends cherries to Asian markets including Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia and more. And while Chauhan anticipates strong demand overall, he especially feels like stronger demand will also come from India.

A lot of that strength in demand is related to Chile’s expanded cherry program this year. “Everyone got a taste of cherries this year. Before, it was only for mid to high-end consumers to have that product. This year every country had ocean arrivals--in the past Chile sent about 99 percent of its volume to China,” says Chauhan.

He also adds that Chilean prices were 1/3 the price of usual prices at that time which helped make them more accessible. “And then with Washington and California’s big crops this year, it won’t be high prices. It will be normal pricing following the first 10 days through to July,” says Chauhan.

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

Access the original article with this (Link)

Popular posts from this blog

Agronometrics in Charts: Demand for berries skyrockets in 2021

This time for the ‘In Charts’ series we will give an update as to how the average prices of berries have been behaving. Specifically, we will look at the prices of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries in the United States market and compare them with previous seasons. An increase in demand, brought on by the tendency to consume “superfoods” such as berries during the Covid-19 pandemic, seem to have pushed prices up despite the fact that volumes imported by the United States have been similar or higher than those of previous years. Let's look at each particular case: Blueberries Blueberry prices experienced a significant increase from week 3 of 2021, showing the highest prices of the last 5 seasons for the same date. If we observe the following chart, we can see that, for week 7 of 2021, the average price of conventional blueberries was $7.60 per kilo. This is 24 percent higher than in 2020 when the average price was $6.14 per kilo. Volumes for blueberr

Peru's blueberry oversupply takes its toll on export price

Overview of the Peruvian blueberry season, complemented by charts from Agronometrics.   Original published in FreshPlaza.com   on November 25, 2020  This year's Peruvian blueberry season began in June with the export of 1,010 tons worth 5 million dollars. These figures represented a 25% increase in volume and a 77% increase in value over the same month of 2019. The lower production in the northern hemisphere due to weather problems allowed producers to achieve attractive prices of $ 5.15 per kilogram in June. Volume (in Kg) of blueberry from Perú in the US market Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics . (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here ) The good reception of Peruvian blueberries and the increase in prices encouraged exports during July, a month in which the country shipped 4,808 tons (+ 108%) for 26 million dollars (+ 102%). In this month, the increase in the Peruvian supply generated a slight 3% fall in the typical prices of the month,

Tight raspberry volumes make for more “normal” pricing

Overview of the raspberry supply by Ben Escoe of Twin River Berries, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published in FreshPlaza.com   on May 12, 2021  “They’re starting to pick up, but it’s been tight--really tight,” says Ben Escoe of Twin River Berries in Portland, OR, noting this largely has to do with the weather conditions in Mexico. “It’s been cold and windy there which has caused damage in the fields and contributed to the low supply. Year over year, the volume is comparable or even better. But demand is high and forecast to actual supply has been lower.” Mexico grows raspberries for most of the year, stopping only for the rainy season which begins at the end of June or early July. Meanwhile California’s volume won’t really begin until the middle to the end of May. Volumes (in Kg) of raspberries from Mexico in the US Market​ Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics . (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here ) Higher berry deman