April 6, 2016
Here’s a fast rundown on where things are at in fruit land!
You may not know it, but every sea container on international waters is very visible and tracked. I could tell you, in an hour, if you cared, and I had the time, how many cases of apples or bananas or kilos of marble tiles are on the water, when they will arrive, and where, whether Houston or Vladivostok, who shipped them and who is receiving them. The global fruit and vegetable trade is very, very visible – everyone knows what everyone else is importing and exporting, to the pound. Last week, for instance I know that there were 82 containers of organic apples shipped from Peru. Which is nothing compared to the 66,000 containers of bananas that were shipped from Ecuador, if it was an average week. So when I say that Washington apple packers are ‘juggling’ pricing based on sales vs. inventory, they are also wary of what is arriving from South America, how many, when and to whom. And that is what is happening right now – dwindling supplies of Washington fruit are being measured against arrivals of Southern Hemisphere fruit – especially Gala which ships at least a month earlier than others.