There is considerable concern about the size of the tart cherry crop this year. Frost conditions during spring may have had a big impact on the development of this year’s crop. USDA is forecasting 2020 tart cherry production at 197 million raw pounds, down 25 percent from last year’s 262.0 million pounds. Other analysts are more pessimistic, with production estimates ranging between 140 and 180 million pounds, down 40 to 50 percent from average production.
There is reserve inventory held by USDA that most likely will be released to make up for this season’s shortfall. This supply, however, may not be in the forms industrial customers need, such as concentrate.
There should be more understanding within the next month about the crop, but industrial users, especially IQF and concentrate customers, should anticipate impact on product availability.
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