Ocean Spray reduces 2010 cranberry crop forecast

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cranberry

Poor weather conditions have led Ocean Spray to reduce its cranberry crop forecast for 2010 as it says lower yields will result in a drop of over 6 per cent of previous industry estimates.

“Given the continued discussion throughout the grower communities of a large and increasing crop surplus, we thought it was important to alert our growers, agents and key customers of the rapidly changing situation,” ​said Mike Stamatakos, vice president of agriculture supply and development.

Large crop forecast

Taken in total, based on Ocean Spray’s year-to-year crop data, the company projects the 2010 US crop to be less than 7m barrels, down over 500,000 barrels from the August Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC) projection of 7.5m.

According to Stamatakos the “excellent blossom and fruit”​ set earlier in the year led the company’s growers to forecast a large 2010 crop. However recent delivery analyses and grower reports had pointed to significant fruit rot in parts of Wisconsin caused by constant summer rains, scalding in Massachusetts caused by excessive summer heat and lower crop overall yields in the west of the country due to a very cool and wet growing season.

The 2010 cranberry crop follows what Ocean Spray describes as “a record harvest”​ in 2008 and “good yields”​ in 2009.

Not a surplus situation

However, Stamatakos told BeverageDaily.com​that Ocean Spray continued to remain appropriately supplied and that it is “not in a surplus situation”.

Stamatakos​said that when the surplus is eliminated, the company expected commodity pricing for fruit and concentrate to lift from their record lows.

“With increased consumption reported by the Cranberry Marketing Committee of nearly 5 per cent over the last 12 months and given the projected crop shortfall, the industry could make a significant move towards supply-demand equilibrium,” ​said Stamatakos.

The Vice President pinpointed competitive commodity pricing, government purchases, cranberry innovation and continued international consumer demand as the driving force between these sales trends.

Cranberry-based products around the world have seen continued sales growth with the CMC reporting industry sales to be up by 4.3 per cent over the past twelve months and by 9 per cent over its last three reporting periods, according to the company.

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry growers and more than 50 grapefruit growers and claims to be North America's leading producer of canned and bottled juices and juice drinks.

The company grows its cranberries across the US in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin and also in British Columbia and Eastern Canada.

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