As we wind down the Coastal California season, Markets remain active mostly driven by reduced supply rather than demand but that is about to change. Demand is expected to ramp up as eastern production areas fade. Quality remains fairly good especially for late season lettuce although growers are battling issues including mildew, fringe burn as well as insect and disease pressure , all of which continue to reduce sizing and yields. 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.
Romaine and Romaine Hearts Romaine supplies continue steady. as well as Quality although some yield reducing issues remain including increased fringe Markets remain elevated with tiered pricing available among production areas. Quality issues are mostly being trimmed at field level with slightly more twist and over developed ribs .
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston Demand on Leaf has started to improve with many East coast customers looking to supplement their current supplies as Homegrown quality begins to suffer from ongoing inclement weather on the East Coast. Expect markets to escalate from current levels.
Look for this market to make a slight move upwards over the next 7 days. Michigan is finishing up and you combine that with shorter days and cooler temperatures in the California growing regions it is all but inevitable that we will see some type of uptick in the market.
Production of thornless varieties continues with some shippers heavy towards larger sizes and some heavier towards medium sizes . Look for supplies to improve as we head into cooler Fall months
Growers in all California regions continue to fight insect issues which are hampering yields, especially in the Santa Maria district. Markets are expected to remain for the entire month of October. Local deals out of Canada and the East Coast will start to decline as they head into the cooler fall weather, this will help keep California pricing at higher levels as well. Production out of Central Mexico continues to be affected by rain. We will start to see some increased volume out of there over the next couple of weeks but not the normal volume that should be crossing. Heavier volume wont start out of Central Mexico until November.
Lighter yields are expected over the next two weeks from most shippers. Look for prices to climb rapidly as we finish out this week. Pre books are advisable as we are going to get into a demand exceeds situation.
Northern California production areas are increasing supplies daily. Quality is showing signs of improving although varying as growers break new fields. Insect damage and loose elongated heads are currently common. October should bring excellent supplies and promotional opportunities barring any unforeseen insect pressure brought on by hot , dry weather.
Mexico production has been slow to fully rebound with the recent tropical storms being the latest setback. Supplies are expected to improve as well as quality later this month.
Berries continue in a wide range in pricing and quality due to Oxnard fruit now being added to the mix. Santa Maria, California is forecast to be cool with clouds and sun, becoming sunny on Sunday, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 50s, decreasing to the 40s Friday through the weekend. Salinas/Watsonville, California is forecast to be cool and partly cloudy, becoming mostly cloudy Friday and Saturday, and then sunny on Sunday. Highs are expected in the 60s, increasing to the 70s for the weekend, with lows in the 50s, decreasing to the 40s Friday through the weekend. Oxnard, California new crop fruit has good color and size, while the old crop fruit has bruising, dark color, soft shoulders, and is overripe with much smaller fruit.
Mexico is ramping up quickly, with good volume this week out of Texas or California on new crop Mexican blackberries!
Less supply again this week as we end the summer crop and move into Mexico new crop for the 2021-2022 season. Volumes should turn in a few weeks.
Blueberries are expected to start coming in with volume this week, but this is very much dependent on boats being unloaded. The current market is in decline based on this information, but we could see delays to loading/unloading at ports due do to struggles to get fruit out of Peru and Argentina due to weather, vessel delays, and import delays due to lower staffing and COVID restrictions.
Steady volume continues on white peaches this week. Good volume on red plums and good volume will continue until the end of the year with our late season varieties. Our 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. Order early. Yellow nectarines and peaches are mostly finished for the season.
Good volume continues this week out of the California central valley. Multiple late season varieties are starting to hit the pipeline. These varieties will carry us through the remainder of the year. Green seedless grape volumes are expected to lighten up in the coming weeks and markets will likely react. Currently there are multi-tiered pricing options to offer and shippers are looking to move product. Storage fruit quality will begin to suffer as we head into the winter months.
Oranges – California valencia production is starting to wind down and pricing continues to increase as demand remains strong and supplies diminish, particularly on 88 count and smaller fruit. Sizing is peaking on 56 count fruit and shippers are making deals. small sizes will continue to be light in supply for the near future. Chilean navel quality has been strong, although port delays is keeping fruit offshore. As more containers are unloaded markets will likely begin to settle.
Lemons – District 3 has started and quality is starting to improve. District 2 is still in production, although quality has been mostly choice. Texas has had product in light numbers. Wes expect volume to slowly improve in the coming weeks. Sizes are peaking on 165 count fruit. Offshore product has been slow to come off the boats as port delays continue to plague the industry, as well as the entire national economy.
Limes – Demand has been moderate this week. Pricing has softened as more product crosses the border into Texas. Rain is in the forecast for Mexican product and supplies and quality will likely suffer in the coming weeks. Sizing is mostly peaking on 175-200 count fruit.
The transition from the Westside to the desert has been proceeding but in bumpy, gap ridden fashion. Westside continues to wind down with more and more vendors finishing their harvest. Most will be completely done within a week. One will continue for another two weeks, however with diminishing size and volume. Quality has held up okay. At the same time the desert areas struggles and stumbles at the start of the deal. Quality is a bit inconsistent and sizes are running quite large ranging between a few jbo 6s to mostly jbo 9 then regular 9s with few if any smaller. Also there are fewer and fewer vendors and acreage down there each fall, it seems. Off shore deal is still 6 to 8 weeks away. Nogales should start in about a month. Prices have responded accordingly on the spot market, with less and less volume available, especially after fulfilling contracted orders. Spot demand has been lackluster but this has been a supply driven market. We look for prices to stay firm to higher on the Westside, with the desert prices remaining high next week, but perhaps backing off the following week.
Honeydews have been on the light supply side for the past several weeks and this has been exacerbated by the Westside winding down. There are some in the Yuba City- Yolo-Woodland area but there are only a few grown there. Nogales is starting possibly sometime next week. As has been the case all season, sizes have skewed overwhelmingly toward regular 5 and 6 count. Quality has been good. Desert supplies are stumbling out of the gate at the start and running large, peaking on 5s with decent supply of jbo 5s and fewer 6s. Prices there have been generally higher than the Westside. Next week supplies should be all but finishing in the Sacramento area and slowly picking up in the desert. Overall spot demand will continue to be lackluster at high price and freight (somewhat lower freight in the desert). Nogales should start sometime next week keeping prices in check and possibly lowering, However, like with cantaloupes current high prices are supply driven and should start out steady and possibly drift lower as volume in the desert increases.
Washington – Certain items are very much on the move and others are
decent but not quite as crazy so it’s worth checking in since pricing is subject to change. Yellow onions are fairly tight on most sizes, prices are up and quality is very nice. Red and White onions are also fairly tight with load volumes not available on most items until mid-week. Treasure Valley Most shippers are through harvesting and some will finish up this Weekend…if the rain doesn’t hold things up. Straight loads of Jumbos are available, but pricing keeps
driving upward and do not , at this point look like there’s any weakness. The quality is good and food service is finally getting back to higher percentages.
Red onions continue to be tight with straight loads rarely available. The over all crop, in one growers estimation, is off by 20-30% over last year, so hold on to your hats.
Air service from Peru to Florida is almost nonexistent. The shipping companies are also raising their rates with demand for boats higher. Mexico will have product in volume toward the end of the month with prices being given out for ads in the low $20’s…but smart money says it could be in the teens by 1 st of November.
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. Diminished quality from past heat related events , including increased insect pressure, continue to hamper production.
Availability and pricing continue to be steady with abundant supplies although expect markets to firm and steeply rise next week as shippers begin 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.
Potato and Onions . Supplies have improved as well as quality on all Potatoes and Onions . We should continue to see production improve heading into next month.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine Romaine and Romaine Heart production remains light pushing prices higher. We anticipate inclement weather on the East Coast to eventually push demand west. and accelerate pricing even further.
Green and Red leaf Production has also slowed as growers battle insect pressure. while demand improves as many East coast customers begin to supplement their current local supplies.
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 improving although still limited on larger sizes and Fancy grade. California crop is expected to improve supplies later this month. Lime quality remains inconsistent as well as supplies. Tropical Storms in Mexico continue to impact supplies. California Valencia production has mostly finished with Navels expected later next month.
California : Cantaloupe , Honeydews, Galias and mini Watermelon production is expected to finish up in the Central Valley. Production from Mexico is expected to be delayed heading into next month.
Green & Red : Supplies of Red and Green varieties are sufficient from the Central Valley of California. Prices remain mostly steady with excellent promotional opportunities.
OG Stone Fruit
California : Stone fruit season has mostly finished in the Central Valley as Pomegranate and pear production is set to begin.