The market has begun to level with growers continuing to battle quality issues as the Coastal season winds down. Some issues are seasonal although intensified due to the previous heat waves including tip burn, rib discoloration and bottom rot associated with soil borne disease Wide variations remain in Quality ,supply and pricing depending on individual shippers situation.The volatility will likely continue as we begin to transition production areas in coming weeks. Las Cruces , New Mexico will begin production next week to help supplement supplies. Quality coming out of the gate is expected to be very nice. Ask your Produce West rep for updates on transportation as well.
Romaine Demand for Carton and Heart Romaine continues to be strong mostly due to acreage cutbacks and reduced yields due to heat related stress. Reduced quality will continue to impact supplies through October. Fringe and tip burn, increased high core, twist and high levels of insect pressure causing discoloration, disease and rib decay. Most of the defects have been able to be trimmed in the field but more insect damage is being found inside layers. Expect quality issues and escalated prices to continue well into October.Transition to southern production areas is expected by the end of the month while Las Cruces, New Mexico will have limited production starting next week
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston plantings were negatively impacted by the heat and have shown signs of tip burn and wilt. Prices have escalated , especially Greenleaf as Eastern production areas come to a close in coming weeks.
Currently there is good availability out of both Santa Maria and Salinas. Prices are slightly lower out of Santa Maria. Everything looks pretty good with nice green color and good weights coming out of both growing regions. We expect markets to remain at current trading levels for next week.
Production of the thornless varieties has been hampered by successive high temperature events resulting in reduced quality and sizing. We don’t expect any significant volume on larger sizes until the Fall .
Prices have subsided and there is good availability out of both California as well as Mexico product crossing in the Texas Valley. A few shippers are still having minor issues with pin rot but overall most product has cleaned up and looking good. As we head into cooler days and nights we will start to see some purpling on the domes by the end of the month. We estimate to start our Shui Ling broccoli crown program shipping out of Central Mexico loading in Pharr, TX around October 19.
Market has tightened and prices will reflect lighter volume. Look for prices to increase slightly over the next few days. Warmer temperatures last week and the week before pushed the product along and now cooler temperatures and lower yields as we head towards the end of the California season are the main reasons for a market uptick. Quality has improved slightly but we are still finding the occasional brown spotting.
Coastal California supplies continue to improve with a mix of quality and sizing as pricing remains competitive. Supplies are expected to improve as well as demand as we enter the Fall season. An Increase in insect pressure may lead to quality issues but currently quality is mostly good.
Mexico growers continue their reduced Summer acreage. Pricing remains mostly steady. We expect production to increase in a couple weeks as seasonal demand improves heading into the Fall.
We should experience an uptick in volume next week. Organics will continue to be limited. Oxnard and Central Mexico are beginning light volumes. Oxnard will see a significant increase in volume the first week in November. The Northern district will be winding down soon, but at a slower rate than in years past. Santa Maria, California is forecast for low clouds, then sun Wednesday through Friday, mostly cloudy Saturday, and mostly sunny on Sunday. Highs are forecast in the 60s, increasing to the low 70s Friday through the weekend, and lows in the 50s. Salinas/Watsonville, California is forecast for clouds then sun Wednesday and Thursday, chance of rain on Friday, mostly cloudy Saturday, and mostly sunny on Sunday. Highs are forecast in the 60s and lows in the 50s. Santa Maria, California fruit, after the heat and moisture, has some greener fruit, occasional bruising, white shoulders, soft shoulders, heat damage, decay under the calyx, pin rot and misshapen. Average counts are 24 to 26, occasionally higher and lower.
Production is finally turning around with steady increases into November.
Imports continue to come in with good volume on the East Coast. Mexico is starting to pick up in volumes slowly. West coast supplies are limited but we should see some relief late next week. Expect good supply across all regions by late October through November.
We are seeing better numbers this week and several supplies pushing promotions. Mexican production on both organic and conventional is ramping up with very good quality!
Red and black plums are available in good supply . Shippers are making deals on volume fill 40/45s and larger. Quality is strong and good sugar. Yellow peach and nectarines are finished for the season. There are some white peaches still available this week, although production is limited. White peach supplies should be completely cleaned up by the middle of next week.
Good volumes continue this week on red and green varieties. Shippers are starting to put product into storage for use later in the year. Good volumes are expected to carry us through the month of October, followed by lighter supplies in the first week of November. Red varieties currently available include Scarlet Royal and Magenta. Green varieties include Ivory and Stella Bella. Quality is very strong and product is making good arrivals nation wide. Plenty of product available this week and shippers are looking to move product and listening to offers.
Oranges – Demand continues to be strong on valencia oranges. Small sizes are still tight industry wide. Offshore product remains short in supply with no changes expected for the remainder of the season. Large sizes are slightly more available and make up most of the current inventory. Navels are expected to start around the end of the month, which may help ease markets. Demand will continue to be strong for the near future.
Lemons – Plenty of supply this week. NO changes as inventories remain heavy and shippers are looking to move product. Quality is very nice industry wide with very few problems to report. Slightly better demand on large sizes, and plenty of deals being made on small sizes.
Limes – good volumes this week coming out of Mexico. Sizing is peaking mostly on 175 -200 count and shippers are looking to move product. There is some extreme weather in the forecast for some Mexico growing regions over the weekend which could affect quality and supplies in the coming weeks. Currently supplies are plentiful and quality is good overall.
Market rose the week before last and stayed firm this week. Supplies continued to diminish, slowly but steadily, as Westside suppliers finished or entered their last fields. Sizes ran smaller after peaking on jbo 9s and 6s and now are skewing to regular 9s and 12s. Desert still has only one viable supply source going in Central Az. Sizes there are also skewing a bit smaller with jbo 9s and 9s the peak size but more 12s showing up. Quality is not quite as good but still mostly ok. Prices were steady this week. Next week the Westside will continue to wind down and most likely out by the end of the period or the beginning of the week of 10/19. At the same time the desert area will pickup, as more suppliers will be getting started between 10/12 and 10/19. However there are fewer acres planted being controlled by fewer sellers so we are not expecting any big surge in supplies or precipitous price drops until year end when off shores get going.
Market continues to play out the same scenario as cantaloupes with the Westide winding and out and the desert phasing in slowly. Like lopes sizes are skewing smaller with less jbo sizes and more regular sizes. Quality is okay. We look for a steady market next week , with the following week being perhaps a bit lower, especially as Mexico hits its stride.
Washington Onions have almost come to the end of harvest and storage will be starting shortly. Small onions are very hard to come by as a lot are being used for the Farmer to Family program…to say nothing of the contracts. From this writer’s observation, contracts, make up to 40% of the sales for most
shippers and the balance being sold on the spot market. Red’s are a little tight with some shippers and are in the $5.00 range on 25#. Most jumbo yellows 50# are in the $6.00 range…with a few Idaho shippers higher.
Markets have continued to rise over the last 10 days on both the East and West coasts. Southern Baja production has slowed down causing an incremental demand for East Coast production out of Peru. Supplies have been limited nationwide and, along with retail promotions, have caused the markets to be even more difficult. The expected outlook is limited supplies available through the next few weeks and then an easing as we head into November.
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli . Cooler , more seasonal weather has allowed quality to improve along with better production. In turn prices have begun to ease slightly. We expect further settling as production improves. Cauliflower production remains mostly steady with improving demand. Prices have been gradually escalating as demand increases weekly . We anticipate improved Demand to continue to push pricing higher.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Availability and pricing appear to be mostly steady with Local Homegrown production expected to continue for another week or two.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady and demand continues to spike as carrots offer a great grab and go option as well as being a staple commodity in the USDA Farm to Family Food Program. Continue to plan even further ahead to get partial coverage.
Potato and Onions Markets continue to be strong as well as demand for retail packs. Northwest production continues to be limited. We expect shortages and elevated prices through the Fall.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine Demand for romaine remains strong especially hearts with continued light supplies.due to reduced acres, increased insect pressure and diminished quality . Green and Red quality has suffered more so than Romaine with production lighter with demand improving weekly.
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Demand continues to be strong throughout the Citrus category due to retail sales. Mexico’s lemon crop is peaking with mostly Fancy supplies and the California Fall/Winter crop has started with limited production. Many shippers have shifted production exclusively to bags on All Citrus. Lime quality remains inconsistent but has shown signs of improvement. Valencias sizing profile has been leaning toward the smaller sizes which has benefitted increased demand for bags at retail. We anticipate Navels to begin later this month.
California: Central Valley production has a couple more weeks of strong supplies before flavor, quality and size declines. Reds continue to offer the best value while Green grape production has been slightly more limited.
California: Cantaloupes, Honeydew, Watermelon production has been hampered by heat and smokey skies restricting plant growth much of the past month. With only a few weeks left in the California season we should see one last wave in production before the season comes to an early close.