Conventional Items
Markets accelerated this week driven by processor demand and uncertainty of quality and supply in transitional growing areas. Quality remains fairly good especially for late season lettuce although pending rain this weekend will have a significant impact with growers already battling mildew, fringe burn as well as insect and disease pressure. Transition over the next month will bring uncertainty of supply and quality. As usual, check with Produce West for updates including production from Las Cruces , New Mexico.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine and Romaine Hearts  Romaine supplies continue to be moderate as well as Quality although some yield reducing issues remain including increased fringe Markets remain elevated although no longer tiered. Expect prices to advance as iceberg escalates  Quality issues are mostly being trimmed at field level with slightly more twist and over developed ribs leading to increased discoloration .Seasonal Production from Las Cruces , New Mexico has begun with excellent quality.
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston  Demand on Leaf has started to improve with many Eastcoast customers returning from Summer break. Expect markets to escalate from current levels.
There are still a few deals to be had but they are drying up fast. Demand is beginning to pick up and most shippers are eager to increase prices, especially after a year like this where they have sat at the bottom. The Oxnard district wil begin harvest the week of 11/8.
Production of thornless varieties continues with some shippers heavy towards larger sizes and some heavier toward medium sizes . Limited supplies of the Heirloom Variety will be available for a couple weeks .
We are starting to see a slight decline in the market, mainly due to more products beginning to cross out of Mexico into Texas. California supplies will remain limited as we finish out our summer season. Irregular supplies are expected out of California through November and then most will make the transition down to the desert growing regions. Mexico production is slowly trending upwards and currently they are $8.00 – $10.00 cheaper than California on the crown cut. Supplies will continue to increase through the month out of Mexico.
We have seen a slight reduction in price this week compared with last week. Markets will remain at current trading levels for the remainder of this week. Overall quality is fair, starting to see some light yellowing and some light brown spotting on some product. Expected rains in California for the end of the week could hamper harvest.
Brussels Sprouts
Northern California production areas are increasing supplies daily. Quality is showing signs of improving although varying sizes as growers break new fields. October should bring excellent supplies and promotional opportunities barring any unforeseen insect pressure
Green Onions
Mexico production has been slow to fully rebound. Supplies are expected to improve as well as quality later this month.
Brussels Sprouts
Northern California production areas are increasing supplies daily. Quality is showing signs of improving although varying sizes as growers break new fields. October should bring excellent supplies and promotional opportunities barring any unforeseen insect pressure
Rain and showers are forecast for all California growing areas and the end of the summer crop production. The conventional strawberry market has a three-tiered pricing structure with a range in prices and quality depending on the growing area and whether it is new or old crop. Santa Maria, California is forecast to be partly sunny, becoming rainy on Sunday. Highs are expected in the 60s, with lows in the 50s. Salinas/Watsonville, California is forecast for rain on Wednesday, becoming partly cloudy on Thursday, and then rain on Friday, with possible showers on Saturday and rain on Sunday. Highs are forecast in the 60s on Wednesday, increasing to the 70s on Thursday, and then decreasing to the 60s for the balance of the week, with lows in the 50s. Oxnard, California is forecast for partly sunny skies, becoming cloudier with passing afternoon showers on Sunday. Highs are expected in the 60s and lows in the 50s. Santa Maria fruit has good color with occasional misshapen, white shoulders, and tip burn.
Heavy rain over the weekend will impact blackberry supplies from Mexico for the coming weeks.
Heavy rain over the weekend will impact raspberry supplies from Mexico for the coming weeks (but not as bad as it will hit blackberries).
Heavy volumes are hitting the East Coast this week as vessels overlap. But the word from Peru is that production is not going to spike as originally expected, with more and more growers saying volumes will slowly go down over the next few months. For now, blueberries are the promotable berry item for October and November!
Stone Fruit
Good volume on red plums until the end of the year on late season varieties. Fall plums are brixing in the high teens to 20+. These are a great opportunity to get incremental sales through the fall. Steady volume on black plums this week with good demand. Red, Black & Green plumcots will be available for a few more weeks. Port delays are keeping volumes light on offshore product.
Stronger markets this week on reds, greens and blacks. Late season varieties are available and will carry us through the rest of the year. Although markets have been mostly stable for the past month, we expect the overall market to begin an upward trend as supplies tighten up and shippers begin tapping into storage fruit. Quality has been very nice, but we will start to see some age related issues as time goes on.
California valencias has started to wind down and pricing remains strong on all sizes, especially on 88 count and larger. We expect the season to be totally finished within 2 -3 weeks. Quality remains solid with very few issues to report. Shippers are dealing more on large sizes as they have in weeks past. Navels have started in the California central valley in light numbers. Estimated volume will be lower than normal this year and sizing will likely continue to be large. Early quality reports on navels have been positive.
Better supplies expected in the coming weeks are production increases. District 2 is finished for the season and fruit has been mostly choice. More supplies are coming out of Texas this week, although it will take a few weeks for production to make an impact on overall markets. Chilean fruit is available but quality is beginning to suffer.
Rain continues in production areas and we will likely see a decrease in production next week. Demand remains moderate and sizing is peaking on 150 and 175 count fruit. Quality issues include blanching, oil spots and light color. Markets are expected to start trending up in the coming days.
Dry Onions
Size, Size, Size, need I say more. The prices continue to rise and this product is not stuck on an Ocean vessel in LA waiting to unload. The demand is consistent and the supply is not, ergo higher prices. Most shippers are saying they could clean up by January first on anything with size…. of course, that won’t happen, but just saying. Jumbo reds are still in the teens and straight loads are hard to com by.
As advertised in last weeks letter the “Grass” deal has all but dropped dead, at least out of Mexico. When the chains decide to put out ads, we will find some equilibrium…until then low teens are the bill of fare.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli   Production has diminished with reduced yields especially on Broccoli with slightly better availability on Cauliflower . Demand has been good allowing for prices to edge higher.  Cooler nights are expected to further slow production as growers continue to battle quality .
OG Celery
Availability continues to be steady with good supplies although pricing has begun to escalate as demand has improved and growers prepare to introduce Holiday pricing.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Availability and pricing appear to be mostly steady as well as demand. Quality remains good from the Northern production areas with an occasional sporadic shortage among growers.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production remains light with damage from previous heat waves impacting suppliers. Expect to see improved supplies as the weather cools heading into the Fall. Continue to plan ahead to get coverage.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Romaine and Romaine Heart production remain moderate with improved demand .  We anticipate inclement weather this weekend to impact already limited supplies.   Green and Redleaf   Production has also slowed as growers battle insect pressure. while demand improves as many Eastcoast customers return for the Winter.
OG Citrus
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit   Strong demand throughout the entire Citrus category due to strong retail sales and revived foodservice activity. Mexico Lemon crop is peaking on smaller, Choice fruit while California desert crop has reported improved sizing and Fancy grades. Lime quality remains inconsistent with improving supplies . Tropical Storms in Mexico have impacted supplies. California Valencia production has mostly finished with Navels expected early next month. Clementines will also start early next month with reduced yields expected. limiting supplies especially early.
OG Melons
California :  Cantaloupe , Honeydews, Galias and mini Watermelon production has begun in the Southern California desert as well as Mexico.
OG Grapes
Green & Red :  Supplies of Red and Green varieties are sufficient from the Central Valley of California. Prices remain mostly steady with excellent promotional opportunities for a few more weeks.

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