California raisin growers receive a record $1,900 per ton for their 2012 Natural Thompson Seedless following the agreement between the Raisin Bargaining Association and its signatory packers.
The announced field price comes after one of their smallest raisins crops in a decade was harvested. The Raisin Administrative Committee estimates this year’s crop will total 280,290 tons – 20 percent less than growers delivered in 2011.
One factor contributing to the decline in the size of the 2012 raisin crop was a very dry and cold winter. It may have hindered bud development, resulting in bunch counts that were down 15 percent to 30 percent from last year. The prospects of a smaller crop of raisin type grapes caused wineries to boost the prices they were willing to pay for these grapes by 23 percent. That, too, left fewer grapes for making raisins.
The increase in price for this year’s raisins won’t be enough to offset the loss in total revenue growers receive from having fewer raisins to sell.
Growers are scheduled to receive 55 percent of their total payment upon delivery of raisins to packers, 20 percent on or before Feb. 28, 2013, 15 percent on or before April 30, 2013 and 10 percent on or before June 1 of next year.