California experienced favorable weather during prune bloom and growers are observing good sizes on fruit set. While production looks promising, supplies are expected to be tight again this season with an estimated 75,000 short tons (68,000 MT) in volume for the 2023 prune crop year according to the Executive Committee of the California Prune Board.
Bigger sizes for California Prunes are in line with the premium quality of the crop. While still in the first half of the growing season, the prune trees in California appear happy from the wet weather with natural fruit drop, resulting in what growers anticipate will be a range of optimum sizes.
“We’ve built solid demand and California prune handlers maintain careful inventory management, putting our industry in a pretty steady position,” says Donn Zea Executive Director for the California Prune Board. “The cost of business and continued tight supply is likely to keep pressure on pricing for the foreseeable future.”
While participating on a panel of dried fruit industry leaders during the 40th meeting of the International Nut & Dried Fruit Congress (INC) in London last month, Mr. Zea reported that while production will be higher this year, the global prune industry is in relative balance between supply and demand. “The industry realities are impacted by a return to typical crop years in South America and France after short crops last year,” added Zea.
For over 100 years, California Prune growers have been responsibly producing premium prunes. With the highest quality agricultural standards of any nation and a climate-controlled tunnel drying system, the California difference is reflected in the naturally sweet prunes that safely reach 60 countries every year. California is the largest producer of prunes in the world and heavily invests in scientific research to continue leading the category.
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA PRUNE BOARD
The California Prune Board was established in 1952 to represent growers and handlers under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture. California is the world’s largest producer of prunes with orchards across 14 counties in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. Promoting a lifetime of wellness through the enjoyment of California Prunes, the organization leads the premium prune category with generations of craftsmanship supported by California’s leading food safety and sustainability standards. California Prunes. Prunes. For life.