California Winegrape Crop Smallest in Decade and Freight Prices Drop

California Winegrape Crop Smallest in Decade and Freight Prices Drop

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with your Agribusiness Update.

**California winegrape growers last year harvested their smallest crop of any year within the past decade.

That’s according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Preliminary Grape Crush Report, an annual benchmark for the winegrape and bulk wine sector.

But the third-consecutive low-harvest year isn’t necessarily bad news.

Demand for wine has stagnated in recent years, and the smaller-than-average yields have helped keep inventory low and prices high.

**Since the highs of 2021, freight prices have dropped to lows not seen since June 2020, according to a recent analysis by U.S. Wheat Associates.

Coupled with a recent break in wheat prices, decreased ocean freight costs have helped turn the tides back in the importers' favor.

The Baltic Index price chart of dry bulk freight shows the impact on rates from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

**The organic market has seen continued growth in retail sales in the past decade, but the pace of growth has slowed.

According to USD’s Economic Research Service, U.S. organic retail sales increased by an average of 8% per year and surpassed $53 billion in 2020.

The number of certified organic acres increased from 3.6 million in 2011 to 4.9 million in 2021.

The number of certified U.S. farms with organic acres nearly doubled over the past decade from 8,900 to 17,400.

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