Fruit And Vegetable Prices Are Going Nuts

tart cherry michigan

Photo: schopie1 on www.flickr.com

The USDA has released its latest report on the produce market, and it’s a mixed bag of extreme volatility.The August price for apples received by growers increased 15 per cent year-over-year to $0.53 per box, thanks to a 14 per cent decline in crops.

That’s the lowest level in over two decades. The agency cited spring freezes in states east of the Mississippi.

Grapefruit prices were even higher — up 45 per cent to $10.33 because of those same conditions.

Lemon prices saw the greatest decline in August — down 46 per cent to $11.89.

For Q3, USDA forecasts a big jump in cherry prices thanks to a 68 per cent collapse in crop volume.

“Combined with low carryover stocks, should lead to tight overall supplies of frozen tart cherries, raising tart cherry grower prices to near or at record-setting levels,” the report said

On the other hand, almond prices are likely to plummet thanks to a record-setting crop yield – 2.1 billion pounds.

The overall grower price, at $1.92 per pound, was up 7 per cent from 2010 but well below the record price of $2.81 per pound in 2005. The large production size made up for the lower grower price with a total crop value of $3.9 billion, making almonds California’s second most valuable commodity in 2011, the agency reported.

Among notable Q3 price forecasts:

  • Celery: +30 per cent to $0.19/lb
  • Lettuce: +20 per cent to $0.20/lb

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