Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook - November 2011

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Provides current intelligence and forecasts the effects of changing conditions in the U.S. fruit and tree nuts sector. Topics include production, consumption, shipments, prices received, and more.
The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) for fresh fruit in October 2011 was 335 (1982- 1984=100), down 2 percent from the previous month, but 5 percent above October 2010’s CPI (fig. 2). Lower supply and high demand for many fresh fruit crops have bolstered prices for the past two months. Large price gains in Red Delicious apples and Thompson Seedless grapes led the year-to-year gain in the CPI. Higher retail prices for navel oranges, grapefruit and bananas also boosted the October index compared to the same time last year. Only lemons and strawberries had price declines due to end-of-season quality declines and seasonal demand shifts.
Continued tight supplies of navel oranges and grapefruit received higher retail prices with 8-percent gains over October 2010 (table 2). An overall smaller apple crop has increased retail prices for Red Delicious by 19 percent in both September and October this year compared to the previous year. Banana prices have increased by 5 percent this October. Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) shipment data show a 5 percent decline in shipment volumes through the second week of November. Most major banana import suppliers—Guatemala, Ecuador, and Colombia—show a decline in shipments from a year ago, likely contributing to the increase in retail banana prices.

Agnes Perez
Katherine Baldwin
Kristy Plattner
Economic Research Service, USDA