Today and tomorrow is the Wisconsin winter Cranberry School…a big trade show of equipment, pumps, banking, etc, etc for the cranberry industry and information on growing practices. It draws tons of growers and handlers from around the state and even a grower or two from out of the area and at least one from Quebec. Bonjour!
The interesting thing to me was the change in attitude from a year ago. This time last year, we were expecting a base price of $10-$15 and we were awash with cranberries. The oversupply looked never ending. This year, we are expecting a base of about $25-$28 and handlers are looking for fruit. The topic on everyone’s mind is if there is a shortage, why isn’t the price higher? That will play out through the year, but if, indeed freezers are empty by late summer, things will get interesting. The CMC numbers are not due until January 20th, so we won’t hear the official usage numbers until after that, but I heard that the usage numbers have increased 7% for one large handler. If those numbers continue, the market is absorbing more of our wonderful, healthy fruit, and that is good.
All in all, it was a good meeting and will continue tomorrow. Thanks to all the United Cranberry members that came to our meeting and brought good ideas. We have things to work on and look forward to good things in 2012.