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As summer approaches cherries and watermelon come to the front

By
Craig Levitt, managing editor

The weather is getting warmer (sort of), and as we all know, warmer weather brings cherries. 

According to Mark Campbell, founder and CEO of ProduceIQ, cherries from California are beginning their season at $70 per 16-pound case for 11-row size. He said the larger cherries, 10-row, are trading for around $78, and the smaller size, 12-row, can be had for $32.

“Overall, supply is expected to decrease from last year’s bumper crop due to a late freeze impacting the more northern growing regions,” he said. “Prices typically fall from the start of the season until the end as the early-mover advantage wears off and the volume accelerates.”

The warm weather also brings crops to harvest quickly. Campbell said declining prices are led by limes, most melons, broccoli, peppers and cucumbers. “Even avocados are enjoying a brief break from ever-climbing prices, though complete respite is expected to hold out until June,” he added.

Campbell reported good supplies of seedless watermelon in south Florida are sinking prices, currently $0.22 to $0.23 per pound. Domestic watermelon prices and quality have a wider range as growers are fragmented.

“Unlike other commodities, such as corn, watermelon growers are less consolidated and can be less disciplined regarding price,” he said. “Logistics become more critical as freight can cost more than the fruit itself. Watermelon is a great item to promote as summer approaches.”

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