Blueberries saw a 9% increase in cold storage as of Jan. 31 when compared year-over-year. In 2014, 172.7 million-lbs. of blueberries were held in cold storage. In 2015, the number rose to 187.5 million-lbs. held in cold storage. Cultivated 30-lb. carton blueberries are priced at between $1.10 and $1.25 per pound, f.o.b. Michigan and $1.25 and $1.30 per pound, f.o.b. Chile. Organic 30-lb. carton blueberries are priced between $2.50 and $2.75 per pound, f.o.b. Michigan and $2.20 and $2.50 per pound, f.o.b. Chile. Prices remain high and demand remains strong for organic blueberry varieties as the premium over conventional is nearly 100%.
Tupi 30-lb. carton blackberries are priced between $0.85 to $0.90 per pound, f.o.b. Mexico. This differs from last month when they were priced between $0.87 and $0.90. Availability remains high. Total blackberries in cold storage remained relatively unchanged at 28.8 million-lbs. on Jan. 31. IQF blackberries rose 26% to 19.7 million-lbs when compared with last year. Barrels, 400 lbs. dropped 38%, from 11.1 million-lbs. in 2014 to 6.9 million-lbs. in 2015.
Total raspberries held in cold storage saw a slight 1% decrease in a year-to-year comparison. Volume in cold storage as of Jan. 31 was 52.2 million-lbs. in 2015 compared to 52.7 in 2014. IQF saw an 8% rise in a year-to-year comparison, whereas pails and tubs, 40-lb. barrels and concentrate saw decreases of 6%, 12% and 4%, respectively. IQF whole frozen raspberries, sized 4/2.5 kg, are priced at $1.80 to $1.95 per pound, f.o.b. Chile. The prices have risen from last month, when the cost was $1.85 to $2.00 as the harvest has peaked.
Total strawberries held in cold storage dropped 26% in 2015 when compared to 2014. About 240.4 million-lbs. were held in 2014, compared to 175.2 million-lbs. in 2015. The drops were across all varieties, as IQF & Poly, Pails & Tubs, Barrels & Drums and juice stock saw drops of 16%, 32%, 36% and 35%, respectively. IQF medium 30-lb. carton strawberries are priced at $1.00 per pound, f.o.b. California as producers await the Spring pack.