(This outlook report was presented at the recent 29th annual Agribusiness Management Conference in Fresno, Calif., sponsored by the Center for Agricultural Business, California Agricultural Technology Institute and the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at California State University Fresno)

California’s grape segments are economically divided with raisin production finally reaching equilibrium with demand.

On the other hand, low price wines continue to be the focal point of wine sales and premium wines continuing to falter, directly impacting wine grape prices.

The 2010 world supply of dried grapes will rebound after a tight 2009 supply situation. Record shipments in 2009 have significantly reduced inventories. Some markets will not be able to purchase California raisins in 2010.

The Raisin Bargaining Association negotiated a 2010 field price for Natural Seedless Raisins at $1,500/ton. The Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC) estimate 2010 production at 293,272 tons and has determined the market requirements will not require a reserve program.

Raisin acreage continues to decline with an estimated 216,000 bearing acres for 2010. Prices have not been high enough to sustain producers and more acreage reduction is expected. The 2010 raisin grape harvest estimate is 1.95 million tons about the same as last year, but down 15 percent from previous 10-year's average.

Domestic shipments account for 55 percent of raisin movement and exports account for 45 percent, an increase of 5 percent.

Due to overproduction, incentives for organic production continue to be weak.