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Cherry season starts strong

California cherry season started strong with volume rising daily. Prices have dropped slightly since the start of May but remain higher than last year at the same time.



Comparing FOB pricing for 16-pound cartons, 2020 is enjoying a higher price right out of the gate, said Yolanda Ramirez, Vice President – Retail for Agtools.
Blue Book has teamed with Agtools Inc., the data analytic service for the produce industry, to look at a handful of crops and how they’re adjusting in the market during the pandemic.
She said 2020 pricing came out as high as $40 and has stablilzed at $25-35, which is higher than 2019 pricing.

New York Terminal Market Pricing Comes Out Strong For Cherries

2020 New York terminal market prices came out of the gate strong, took a slight dip and rebounded to stay in the high $80’s to low $90’s, Ramirez said.

This is largely due to an early start to the beginning of the season vs. last year. The market seems to be stabilizing in the mid-$80’s.

“With heat and some rain in the growing region, we could expect to see the market react to the weather condition resulting in lower prices going forward,” she said. “However with USDA contracts in hand, demand could stay strong holding prices firm for the season.”

3 Year Cherry Volume Comparison

Three main regions represent 99 percent of the total volume for the first part of the year, Ramirez said. These regions are Central California (61 percent), Chile (28 percent) and Argentina (10 percent) from January to the beginning of May. Central California is experiencing an earlier start than 2019 and 2018. While 2019 began with larger volume, this year we are seeing a more gradual ramp up that is helping to render a higher price in the market.


2020 total industry volume, thus far, for conventional cherries has been lower than 2019. The 2020 Cherry crop is seeing less volume from the 2 main producing regions of Chile and CA. While we are in the beginning stages of CA production, it is reflecting almost 800,000 pounds less than last year.

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services