California fresh market strawberry volume has increased to over 1 million trays per day. Some growers are beginning to switch fields over to processing in the Oxnard area. Juice grade strawberry is still in heavy demand with limited volume.
The processing strawberry crop has low inventory of most items, but there is a lot of uncertainty currently about where the market is headed this year. Field prices have posted higher this year than last year. USDA may be looking for as much as 75 million pounds of frozen strawberries above their normal purchases.
Cold storage inventory of strawberry at the end of 2019 shows smaller volumes than any of the previous ten years. Field pricing could be affected by this shortage as we move closer to the freezer grade season.
California acreage of fall planted strawberries is up this year over last year. The crop timing appears to be behind where it was at this same time last year.
Processing grade strawberry volume is lower to date than it has been for many years. Field pricing has moved up a little recently as a result of the shortage. Volumes could remain light for the rest of the month of June.