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California Strawberry - May 4, 2021

5/4/2021  By Dan Winiecke
California Strawberry - May 4, 2021California strawberry processing fruit volume continues to lag behind previous years. Fruit production remains slow in California, and the amount of fruit going to processors has been very small this year. Fresh market pricing remains historically high and looks to remain so for the next few weeks. With the production in the fields looking to remain low for at least another month, and the fresh market as strong as it is currently, there could potentially be a shortfall of 80 million pounds in the freezer category and 20 million pounds in the juice grade category by the end of May versus the past two years. This comes at a time where inventory levels in cold storage are historically low. These conditions will put upward price pressure on an already high priced market. The only condition that would soften this is if the fresh market had a turn around in pricing in the near term. Right now that does not look too likely.