Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, July 2010

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The index of prices received by fruit and tree nut growers in June remained above that of a year ago, as was also true in each month from January through May 2010. The index this June was reported at 148 (1990-92=100), 15 percent higher than the June 2009 index. Strength in the June index stemmed from grower price gains realized mostly for freshmarket lemons, oranges, apples, pears, and strawberries. Prices for processing oranges also averaged higher.

The first complete forecast for U.S. peach production in 2010 was released by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on July 7. The forecast has U.S. peach production for this year set at 2.25 billion pounds, up 2 percent from a year ago and matching volume produced in 2007. Though production in California is forecast to be down this year, output gains in several other States, including South Carolina and Georgia, are anticipated to drive overall production up slightly from a year ago. California’s 2010 peach crop was set at 1.55 billion pounds, down 5 percent from a year ago, but that State’s production of freestone peaches is forecast 1 percent larger, driving down fresh-market prices in June when shipments started to pick up.

Agnes Perez
Erik Dohlman
Kristy Plattner
USDA Economic Research Service