If the wineries are hurting for juice this season, they’re not bringing cash to the table just yet and it is getting very late.
“The price being quoted for raisins has caused more growers that “flip back and forth between green and raisin” to make raisins this year, as they should,” says Nat DiBuduo, president of Allied Grape Growers. “The raisin price and the early crop estimate made it more enticing to make raisins. With the capabilities of making traditional raisins, dried-on-the-vine or machine harvested continual tray, more growers opted to make raisins this year.”
The majority, if not all, of wine grapes in 2007 will probably be used as wine product, except Rubired which is used by both segments, according to DiBuduo.
“This was all pretty much decided weeks before the rains that came this fall, so the rain did not effect that decision,” he says. “The price for Thompson seedless growers who delivered a green crop to the wineries or concentrate processors was $150 per ton on the spot market — same as last year. A grower will do better than 2006, not because of the price, but because their production per acre was up significantly over 2006.”
Some Allied members requested to make raisins in 2007, according to DiBuduo. Allied directors’ release was for one year for about 13,000 green tons to be made into raisins.
“This is the largest request and release since my tenure as president of Allied Grape Growers,” DiBuduo says. “It’s interesting, however, that we probably signed up about 14,000 tons of new one-year Thompson seedless from growers that wanted to sell green. In most cases the major buyers of Thompson seedless grapes for concentrate and/or alcohol did not buy enough grapes to satisfy their needs, yet they did not try to raise the spot market price to entice more growers to switch back to sell to them.”