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Orange prices show steady rise


Orange prices keep rising this spring as retail demand remains strong.

The latest IRI scan data shows oranges at 79 percent higher year-over-year dollar growth and 80 percent on volume growth.

This strong consumer demand has led to increasing average F.O.B. pricing, according to Agtools analysis.

FOB Shipping Prices – 2020 vs 2019

A closer look at conventional navel oranges shipping in 7/10 bushel cartons shows that F.O.B. shipping prices were very steady for products out of California from the middle of March to the middle of April.

Since the third week of April, prices have been steadily increasing at a slow pace but showing consistent step-up week after week, said Martha Montoya, CEO of Agtools Inc.

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.

The steady and small increments in pricing during 2020 for the period between the middle of March and the end of May is in contrast with the behavior experienced during the same period and for the same origin/packaging combination in 2019, she said. In 2019, F.O.B. pricing ranged from $15-19 for most of the period.

Terminal Pricing

Based on the available data we can see the effects of the increase in F.O.B. pricing in the terminal pricing, she said.

For both Shippers First Grade and Shippers Choice, pricing in 2020 has been consistently higher for the last two months than the same period during 2019. At the end of May 2020, First Grade priced at $25-28 per 7/10 bushel, while in 2019 the price ranged between $21-26. For shippers choice the price differential is more pronounced. While this year the range was $20-23, in 2019 the range was $16-18.

Retail Pricing

While pricing at the terminal has been higher this year than in 2019 as seen in the previous section, tracking of national retail pricing for navel oranges does not show a direct connection between terminal pricing and retail pricing, Montoya said.

Since the middle of March, retail prices in 2020 have been both higher and lower than those of for the same time period during 2019.

At the end of May in 2020, the national price per pound is around $1.10, while it was around $1.30 at the same date last year. We know the pandemic has impacted retail-purchasing patterns and it is likely this is affecting retail prices.

We recognize that retail prices are affected by many factors, some of which are not part of the supply chain stages just discussed in the prior sections.

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services