Squash volumes typically drop in the summer as domestic producers supply the market, but this summer is seeing even lighter volumes.
Consequently, June F.O.B. prices are more than double last year’s prices.
VOLUME OF CONVENTIONAL SQUASH FROM MARCH 1ST THROUGH JUNE 26TH 2020
A review of the four month period from February to June of 2020 shows that this season’s volume has been the lowest of the last three years, said Paola Ochoa, program manager 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.
While 2019 was an increase of 11 percent over 2018, volume dropped this year and reached the lowest point of the last three years. Volume dropped 18 percent and 8 percent compared to 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Lower supply during the 2020 season is likely a factor in the upward pressure on F.O.B. prices, as will be observed on the analysis in the next section.
F.O.B. PRICE IN SOUTH GEORGIA, ZUCCHINI SQUASH CONVENTIONAL SIZE MEDIUM FROM APRIL 25TH TROUGH JUNE 26ND
During the last week of May 2020, F.O.B. prices for South Georgia product began to increase and surpassed those seen during the analyzed period for both 2019 and 2018.
The beginning of the price increase coincided with the moment when supply dipped to its lowest level of the last three years. Price peaked at just over $23, more than double the level of 2019, through June 23. Afterwards, the price began to decrease.
F.O.B. PRICE IN SOUTH CAROLINA, ZUCCHINI SQUASH CONVENTIONAL SIZE MEDIUM AND SMALL FROM MAY 14TH TROUGH JUNE 26ND
In the case of squash from South Carolina, the price is also very high compared to the previous year. The late start of the South Carolina season is just as newsworthy as this year’s price of $25.
For both small and medium conventional squash, the first reports came in on June 9, almost a full month later than 2019, when the first reports became available during the middle of May.
SOUTHWEST RETAIL PRICE FOR CONVENTIONAL ZUCCHINI SQUASH FROM JAN 1ST TROUGH JUNE 26ND
When analyzing the retail price so far this year in the Southwest region, we see that during February and March the price per pound was higher compared to previous years, which may be a direct result of the current crisis. Since April, prices have somewhat stabilized and have remained very similar to the prices we saw in 2019 and 2018.