California peaches and plums continue strong

From Fresh Plaza | 12 September 2023

Overview of peaches and plums from California in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on September 11, 2023. 

Stone fruit from California is coming to the end of for some varieties. “Yellow nectarines are coming to an end by mid-September harvest-wise. White peaches have one more week to go and white nectarines we’re completely done,” says Mauricio Jimenez-Castro, Chief Commercial Officer for Prima Wawona. “We’ll continue to have plums until the end of September and peaches until the end of October.”

This end follows a late start to the season though the timing of the stone fruit season has for the most part caught up by now. However, another challenge emerged throughout the season and that was Hurricane Hilary last month. “It had an impact on the fruit in terms of yields though luckily for us, our late peach program is in good shape. There was also colder weather in the spring that impacted the yields of the fruit so our volumes as an industry were not as expected,” he says, noting overall, it was about a 15-20 percent loss on volume as an industry and that organic stone fruit has been more impacted than conventional.

Stronger pricing this season

As for demand, it’s been strong, particularly following the lack of fruit from the Southern states and Central growing regions earlier this year. “With less product available and stronger demand, we were able to capture strong pricing over last year,” says Jimenez-Castro, noting that pricing will likely stay strong throughout the remainder of the season. “We are talking to our main partners to support us on keeping prices higher. One reason why is to help growers attain better returns to the farm,” he says.

peach prices by history

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

plum prices by history a

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

Looking ahead, Prima Wawona’s program on peaches will remain strong until the end of next month. “There’s still a good opportunity to promote stone fruit after Labor Day. It’s a great opportunity to extend the season because peaches don’t end when the summer ends,” adds Jimenez-Castro.

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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