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Sweet corn prices spike as summer begins

Many people associate summer with corn-on-the-cob, but bargains are hard to come by at the start of the summer season.

F.O.B. prices have risen 300 percent in the past month, going from just over $10 per carton to around $30, with most supplies coming from California and Georgia.

FOB Prices Yellow Sweet Corn January to June 21st

Mexico and Central & South Florida supplied the market from January through end of April with F.O.B. prices that were just above $10, said David Wilson, Sales Director, Shipper and Grower Category, for 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.

Then with Imperial Valley, Coachella and San Joaquin Valley coming in late April from $12, and then Georgia entered the market, which has pushed up to almost $40 currently, Wilson said.

Sweet Corn White, Bi-Color and Yellow Philadelphia Terminal High Prices May 1st -June 21st

The graph above shows the High Terminal prices for white, Bi-Color and Yellow Sweet Corn for the Philadelphia Terminal Market, Wilson said. The package is 4-4 ½ wire bound crates. The white variety in Blue, has prices $18-26. The other varieties, Bi-Color and Yellow are $14-26 but are consistently lower on average than the White Type.

Historical Freight Costs, Origin Florida to Destination New York May1st- June 21st

Last year’s freight in Red was an average of $250 more than in the same period May 1st to June 21st, from origin Florida to destination New York, Wilson said.

Sweet Corn Volume: Type Conventional, 2020 Year to Date

We can observe from the table above that the Sweet Corn volume is commanded by Florida with 57 percent of the total volume and Mexico second with 18 percent, Wilson said. California, specifically Imperial Valley, is a distant 3rd with 11 percent. Georgia volume is down considerably from last year. Wilson also notes that only Mexico and California-South have increased their volume vs. 2019.

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services