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Fruit and Tree Nut Wholesale Markets: 2015–2020 Price Report

Publication Number: P3687
View as PDF: P3687.pdf

The goal of this publication is to inform agricultural producers, buyers, lenders, and other interested groups about wholesale market prices for fruits and tree nuts commonly grown in Mississippi and the greater Delta region. Awareness of the average prices in the market can help agricultural producers develop crop planning budgets, forecast potential crop and farm returns, and make informed investment decisions during the crop planning process. Knowledge of publicly available market price information might also help suppliers and buyers negotiate fair market prices and purchasing contract terms by reducing information asymmetry.

Data

The prices summarized in this publication are terminal market prices obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Terminal Market Report. The prices reported are limited to fruits and tree nuts produced in the Southeast and sold in selected terminal markets at U.S. cities in the South. The prices included in this report are for conventionally produced fruits and tree nuts from the 2015-2020 period. This report focuses on fruits and tree nuts commonly grown in Mississippi and nearby states. While these prices do not specifically reflect local farm-gate fruit and tree nut prices in the state, they provide a baseline for wholesale market prices received by agricultural producers. The prices of the following fruits and tree nuts are included in this report:

  • Pecans
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Watermelon
  • Blueberries

Average Prices, 2015-2020

In our six figures, we depict the average annual prices and the overall average price during the 2015-2020 period. For each commodity, we also report the lowest and highest price observed across the selected terminal markets each year. Because the reported prices may combine various sizes, varieties, and quality grades, the price range of some commodities may be wide.

Figure 1 shows the per-pound average prices of improved pecan varieties sold wholesale in sacks or cartons weighing approximately 50 pounds. The estimates include pecans of various sizes and varieties. During 2015-2020, the overall average price of improved pecans was $3.43 per pound, with an average low price of $2.58 and an average high price of $4.20. The lowest per-pound price observed during this period was $2.20 in 2020, and the highest was $4.60 in 2017.

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Figure 1. Pecan price per pound (improved varieties), 2015-2020 (Source of data for all figures: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Specialty Crops Terminal Market Report)

Figure 2 reports the estimated per-pound average prices of native pecan varieties sold wholesale in sacks or cartons weighing approximately 50 pounds. The estimates include pecans of various sizes classified as native or “natural.” During 2015-2020, the overall average price of native pecans was $4.15 per pound, with an average low price of $3.03 and an average high price of $4.90. The lowest per-pound price observed during this period was $2.60 in 2017 and 2019, and the highest was $5.00 in 2016-2018.

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Figure 2. Pecan price per pound (native varieties), 2015-2020

Figure 3 shows the per-pound average prices of cantaloupes sold wholesale in 40-pound cartons or crates. The estimates include cantaloupes of various sizes. During 2015-2020, the overall average price of cantaloupes was $0.42 per pound, with an average low price of $0.25 and an average high price of $0.70. The lowest per-pound price observed during this period was $0.10 in 2015, and the highest was $0.79 in 2018.

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Figure 3. Cantaloupe price per pound, 2015-2020

Figure 4 shows the per-pound average price of peaches sold wholesale in cartons containing approximately 25 pounds. The estimates include peaches of various sizes and white and yellow flesh varieties. During 2015-2020, the overall average price of peaches was $1.10 per pound, with an average low price of $0.82 and an average high price of $1.43. The lowest per-pound price observed during this period was $0.35 in 2018, and the highest was $1.66 in 2017.

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Figure 4. Peach price per pound, 2015-2020

Figure 5 reports the estimated per-pound average price of watermelons sold wholesale in 24-inch bins. While the weight of a regular-sized watermelon varies, the estimates assume an average weight of 17 or 22 pounds and include red-flesh seeded and seedless varieties. During 2015-2020, the overall average price of watermelons was $0.41 per pound, with an average low price of $0.28 and an average high price of $0.62. The lowest per-pound price observed during this period was $0.14 in 2018, and the highest was $0.68 in 2019 and 2020. The prices available for 2020 correspond mostly to imports from Mexico, which may be higher than prices from previous years due to trade disruptions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Figure 5. Watermelon price per pound, 2015-2020

Mississippi is known for its blueberry production. Figure 6 shows the annual average price per pound of blueberries sold wholesale in flats containing 12 pints. The estimates include blueberries of various sizes and assume a weight of approximately 9 pounds per 12-pint flat. During 2015-2020, the overall average price of blueberries was $2.98 per pound, with an average low price of $1.83 and an average high price of $4.87. The lowest per-pound price observed during this period was $1.64 in 2017, and the highest was $5.78 in 2016.

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Figure 6. Blueberry price per pound, 2015-2020

Summary

This publication reports average annual wholesale prices for selected fruits and tree nuts during the 2015-2020 period. When using price information to inform business decisions, it is important to note that prices may vary from year to year and within the same year. Prices may vary throughout the production season due to the harvest windows in the different production regions of the country, imports, and the volume of product in the market. In addition, year-to-year variability may take place due to different factors, including weather factors that may affect the acres under production each year.

Resources

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service Terminal Market Report. Available at: https://www.marketnews.usda.gov/mnp/fv-home

Funding

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research via the Open Market Consortium for Specialty Crops.


Publication 3687 (POD-8-21)

By Alba J. Collart, PhD, Associate Extension Professor, and Elizabeth Canales, PhD, Assistant Professor, Agricultural Economics.

Department: Agricultural Economics
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Authors

Portrait of Dr. Alba J. Collart Dinarte
Associate Extension Professor
Horticultural Marketing

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