Dried Fruit

Dried cranberries: Canadian crop disappoints

November 29, 2023 at 4:52 PM , Der AUDITOR
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MADISON/QUEBEC. The outlook for the 2023 Canadian crop is bleak, with considerable damage caused by frost, especially in Québec. In the USA, market players are more confident.

Conceivably poor conditions

After a record crop in 2022, the prospects for the cranberry crop in Québec, Canada, are anything but rosy this time, as the experts at Chelmer Foods report with reference to Fruit d'Or. In fact, it looks as if the 2023 crop could be even smaller than the 2017 crop, which was already the smallest in a decade. Flowering in spring initially looked good and pointed to a normal volume, but frosts and heavy rainfall put a spanner in the works for pollination. The rain continued throughout July, with warm nights also ensuring that the plants grew more vigorously, but less energy was put into the development of the berries. It became cooler in August, but this could not save the yields. For this reason, experts believe that the crop in Québec could be 40% lower than last year. The situation is similar in the east of the country, while conditions in British Columbia were much more favourable and growers here are expecting above-average yields. To summarise, Chelmer Foods is therefore expecting a 30% smaller crop in Canada.

Mixed prospects in the USA

Growers in the USA, more specifically in the huge growing regions of Massachusetts, also had to contend with night frosts. Here, a very good crop similar to that of 2022 was initially expected, but persistent moisture had a negative impact on yields and current forecasts predict a decline of 10-15% compared to last year. In Wisconsin, the frosts also led to damage, but it was not the high humidity that caused further difficulties; on the contrary, the region had to contend with persistent drought. As cranberries can cope better with such conditions than with excessive moisture, Wisconsin is therefore expecting at least an average crop, which could still be the largest in the last four years. Overall, Fruit d'Or expects that the US crop could be 6% larger than in 2022.

Germany doubles imports

Germany more than doubled its cranberry imports (HS number 20089391: Cranberries, with added sugar, <1 kg) in September 2023 compared to the same month last year. Canada remains the most important supplier, increasing its shipments by 88.4%, followed by the USA, which also delivered an impressive 85.1% more cranberries to Germany. Chile is in third place with 64 mt - which may not seem like much, but nevertheless represents an increase of a whopping 392.3%.

Cranberry* imports, Germany, in mt

Supplier

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

Canada

155

292

88.4%

USA

87

161

85.1%

Chile

13

64

392.3%

Netherlands

12

34

183.3%

Austria

0

1

n/a

Others

1

1

0.0%

Total

268

553

106.3%

Federal Statistical Office of Germany / September

*20089391 cranberries, with added sugar, <1 kg

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