The 2014 crop is progressing well. The crop appears to be early, and probably neither a large, or a small crop as measured on a per-acre basis. Shipments are still running ahead of last year by about 10% overall. Water is still a concern. Market prices are holding firm.
Deliveries: to packers totalled 383,690 tons for all varieties as of April 12, 2014. This compares to 328,098 tons for
same period last year (April 20, 2013). This is still not a surprise since the 2013 crop was estimated to be larger than 2012 crop.
For Natural Seedless, the total official deliveries to handlers now stand at 344,232 tons vs. the estimate of 348,437 tons, but the 344,232 tons does not include 564 tons received by packers, but not yet officially acquired. In addition, there are another 2,791 tons being reconditioned, and these are not included in the 344,232 tons either. The combined total is 347,587 tons which is about 99.75% of the estimate for the 2013 crop. At this date last year, 294,621 tons of Natural Seedless had been delivered, received but not acquired, or were being reconditioned, and this 294,621 was about 95%
of the final total harvest of 311,089 tons. The 2013 crop was earlier than the 2012 crop, so this 95% vs. 99.75% is consistent with expectations.
Shipments: for the month of March of the Natural Seedless (91% of total raisin shipments) were up 42% for export, and up 8% for US domestic, for a combined weighted average increase of 21%. YTD shipments of Natural Seedless now stand at an 11% increase compared to last year. The European market remains responsible for the majority of the increase with YTD shipments up 48% compared to last year. This remains most likely a result of the short 2013 Turkish crop.
Shipments of all varietals are up 10% compared to last year.
remain firm, with prices for organics and Natural Seedless Midgets increasing due to supply concerns.
In the vineyard, vines are well-developed as demonstrated in the attached picture. The clusters are beginning to show signs of the impending bloom. The lack of rain remains a major concern. There is a cooling trend forecasted for early this week, warming, and then cooling again with a slight chance of rain for the weekend.