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Plums peak with higher volumes, steady prices

“This fruit is an excellent choice for this summer,” says Raul Lopez, Vice President for Agtools Inc. “California is supplying all the market and the volumes are growing every week.”

As the domestic plum season hits its peak in mid-July, retail volume is up with dollars flat.

The latest retail scan data from IRI Worldwide shows plum volume up 14% in the week ending July 12, with dollars flat, up slightly at 0.7%.

“This fruit is an excellent choice for this summer,” says Raul Lopez, vice president for Agtools Inc. BB #:355102 “California is supplying all the market and the volumes are growing every week.”

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.

To date this season, volume is 2.4 million pounds higher than 2019.

“The volume is growing every week since mid-May, and compared to 2019, this year has grown more than 13% and almost 150% more than 2018,” Lopez said. “It looks like last week the volume peaked and it is the best week of all three years.”

F.O.B. price for 40-45 this year have been higher than 2019, starting above $35 in mid-June, before dropping to about $25 in mid-July.

“Prices may remain in that range if the volume does not increase,” Lopez said. “The smaller sizes are more economical.”

Terminal market prices are steady for all sizes, ranging from $22 to $26 at the Los Angeles Terminal Market. Lopez notes movement of volumes has not been affecting prices.

 

Lopez expects volumes to decrease for the rest of the season.

“Comparing the last 3 years of 2017 thru 2019, we have a better scope of what we can expect,” he said. “Mid-July is the peak of the season, and in August and September the volumes are reduced every week.”

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.