Tuesday, March 10, 2015

California grape crush sees 12 percent decline

From the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service office in Sacramento:
The Final Grape Crush Report includes all grape tonnage crushed during the 2014 season. Changes in tonnage, Brix and prices from the preliminary report to this final report were due to late reports and corrections to the original data. Reporting errors by some processors have caused a change in some district/variety entries.

The 2014 crush totaled 4,142,934 tons, down 12 percent from the record high 2013 crush of 4,700,377 tons. Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 2,138,294 tons, down 12 percent from 2013. The 2014 white wine variety crush totaled 1,754,503 tons, down 4 percent from 2013. Tons crushed of raisin type varieties totaled 155,514, down 53 percent from 2013, and tons crushed of table type varieties totaled 94,623, down 25 percent from 2013.

The 2014 average price per ton of all varieties was $743.07, up 4 percent from 2013. Average prices for the 2014 crop by type were as follows: red wine grapes, $892.06, up 5 percent from 2013; white wine grapes, $595.61, down 4 percent from 2013; raisin grapes, $232.79, down 9 percent; and table grapes, $233.70, up 5 percent.
In 2014, Chardonnay accounted for the largest percentage of the total crush volume with 17.3 percent. Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for the second leading percentage of crush with 12.3 percent of the total crush. The next eight highest percentages of grapes crushed included wine and raisin grape varieties. Thompson Seedless, the leading raisin grape variety crushed for 2014, held 3.2 percent of the total crush.

District 13, (Madera, Fresno, Alpine, Mono, Inyo Counties; and Kings and Tulare Counties north of Nevada Avenue (Avenue 192)), had the largest share of the State’s crush, at 1,336,946 tons. The average price per ton in District 13 was $307.18.

Grapes produced in District 4 (Napa County) received the highest average price of $4,077.31 per ton, up 10 percent from 2013. District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) received the second highest return of $2,318.92, up 4 percent from 2013. The 2014 Chardonnay price of $860.60 was down 1 percent from 2013, and the Cabernet Sauvignon price of $1,426.30 was up 6 percent from 2013. The 2014 average price for Zinfandel was $623.70, down 4 percent from 2013, while the Merlot average price was up 3 percent from 2013 at $774.70 per ton.
For my follow-up story on reasons for the decline, check CapitalPress.com later in the week.

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