For once I am not really in a position to offer a lot of commentary.
The export season is gaining momentum, off-shore market values are positive, the small crop size-profile is concerning and export pack-out rates are excellent.
In summary, just about everything that makes life hard for a ‘domestic-only’ marketer is in play and happening.
What does this mean for Zeafruit? Well, we continue to see strong demand for all sizes, whether it be larger sizes as loose or smaller counts into our prepack programme. Across our retail partners we are noting consistent demand combined with consistent value. Zeafruit doesn’t sell into the wholesale markets however we are receiving strong demand especially for the larger sizes.
Values have remained very steady with larger sizes (16 to 24) in a $23.00 to $25.00 OGR range. Medium sized fruit (28 to 32) sit at a $20.00 to $23.00 OGR level whilst smaller sizes are well down given the abundant volume. Disappointingly these smaller sizes are down at a $7.00 to $9.00 OGR level. We are however able to move this size range through our prepack retail options.
It is a little hard to establish how things will play out over the coming months. We closely monitor the industry weekly packed data and that makes decision making very clear, however even for weeks when packed volume is high, it requires a mathematic equation to establish the percentage of smaller versus larger sizes. I see this becoming more relevant as we progress into November and December. The scarcity of large sizes could see very strong domestic pricing in the larger size range, however that will depend on what volume of export crop is being harvested. What is yet to be really understood is to what degree export orchards are being size picked to remove larger sizes. The current scarcity of large sizes within the New Zealand market could be compounded if that has occurred and there is minimal large fruit remaining to harvest as the season gets closer to Christmas and the New Year.
The next few months will be interesting.
Glen and team.