Blueberries, cherries, cranberries and kiwifruit were among the noncitrus fruits that saw both volume and per-unit price gains last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts Total report, released March 15.
U.S. blueberries were among the biggest winners. While production gains were fairly modest — 208,000 tons in 2010 to 217,000 tons in 2011 — the average price shot up from $1.44 per pound in 2010 to $1.84 in 2011.
Cranberries, on the other hand, saw a modest price gain — $43.80 to $44.50 per barrel — but gained considerably in production, rising from 340,000 tons to 387,000 tons.
Production of some fruits — grapes, nectarines and peaches — decreased in 2011, but their prices went up. The prices of grapes and nectarines, in particular, increased significantly. The per-ton price of grapes rose from $487 to $552, and the per-ton price of nectarines from $553 to $621.
Volumes of fresh-market pears, California plums and California raspberries, meanwhile, increased in 2011, but their prices fell.
Plums were the biggest loser. Production increased fairly modestly, from 141,000 tons to 160,000 tons, but the price plummeted from $555 per ton in 2010 to $410 per ton in 2011.