Prices received by U.S. growers for fruits and nuts have been high in 2014, and they should stay high through year’s end.
That’s the verdict of a new summary report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
For each month since the beginning of the year, the index of prices received by U.S. fruit and tree nut growers has been higher than the year before and higher than 2010-12 average levels, according to the report.
ERS researchers also forecast “continued strong grower prices for fruit and tree nuts through most of this year.”
High citrus prices led the way, but growers also have received higher prices for fresh grapes, peaches, pears, and strawberries.
Those gains offset lower apple prices in August. A larger 2014-15 apple crop will put downward pressure on apple prices this season, according to the report.
Pear prices, on the other hand, should be buoyed by lower production this season. About 1.6 billion pounds are expected, 9% less than in 2013-14.
“The quality of this year’s crop is reported as generally high, especially in the Pacific Northwest where good growing weather helped fruit to size favorably,” according to the report. “Even in drought-stricken California, fruit size and quality were reported as good
for the early-season pears.”
Grape production also is expected to be down this year, according to the report, with about 15.9 billion pounds expected, 8% less than in 2013, according to the report.