Imperial Frozen Foods Issues Berry Market Update

The dramatic rise in field pricing for California strawberries has shown that increased prices result in increased supply.

This, of course, is an oversimplification because there are a lot of factors, pointed out Peter Skolnick, president of Imperial Frozen Food, in the latest market update posted at the Monterey, California-based company’s website. However, the end result is that deliveries of strawberries to California processors have reached the levels of 2013 and 2012.

“Growers in Peru and Chile will start to harvest and export in September. Since Europe's economy generally remains in the doldrums, most of the supply from the Continent is expected to go to North America,” said Skolnick. “This should take a little pressure off of California. However, don't expect any softening of prices on strawberries.”

Meanwhile, raspberry and blackberry harvesting has begun in Oregon, Washington and Serbia. Chile is still holding on to some very high-priced raspberries and blackberries. It is too early to tell about volumes.

highbush-process-production-2014-forecast

The 2014 Michigan Fruit Guesstimate took place on June 25. The consensus is that the nation's tart cherry growers are on track to grow about as many tart cherries as they can sell this year.

With the growth of the blueberry market, this cultivated Highbush cop has taken on added importance among those attending the Guesstimate gathering.

The deep freeze in Michigan, where temperatures last winter dropped as low as 25 degrees below 0 F, caused spotty damage throughout that state’s blueberry growing areas.  The cultivated crop is estimated to be 82 million pounds in 2014, down from 114 million pounds in 2013.