Lower pricing helps good movement on Washington cherries

From Fresh Plaza | 13 July 2023

Overview of cherries from Washington in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on July 11, 2023. 

Shipments of Washington cherries in Ontario are strong. “Demand is really good just because of the tremendous supply that’s available and the pricing that’s down from last year,” says Philippe Sommer, director of offshore imports at Stronach & Sons (2020) Inc. “It’s just more affordable for people and most people love cherries.”

This movement is welcome following last year’s cherry season out of Washington. “There’s definitely better yield and supply of Washington cherries this year. Last year was at least half the amount of cherries that made it our way due to weather factors and all sorts of things. This year, there’s no problem getting product,” says Sommer.

The season is starting approximately on time as it does historically and cherries from Washington will continue to ship for another four to five weeks, depending on the harvest.

More affordable pricing

Meanwhile, lower pricing this season on Washington cherries has undoubtedly helped with movement. “It’s like a 180 on this season’s outlook. Also with prices that are a little cheaper, it’s more eye-catching to some people who may have disregarded cherries last year when they were $10.99/lb. It was a little unaffordable for something that doesn’t keep as long as well,” says Sommer. He adds that looking ahead, he sees pricing and movement staying similar throughout the Washington cherry season.

cherry prices by history

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

More further out, Stronach & Sons (2020) Inc. is also looking at possibly adding a Spanish citrus program come October-November. “Tony Morano, Joe Scali and Vince Bruno purchased the company a few years ago and are trying to broaden their scope as well as keep the strong connections we have with local growers of broccoli, cauliflower, kale and others,” says Sommer. Along with additional offshore channels, the company is also looking to expand shipments to beyond Ontario and into Western Canada.

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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