Most growers have transitioned to their Winter Desert production district without skipping a beat. In fact quality has improved from the start although with a wide range of weights. Color and Texture have improved from the tail end of the Northern California district. Once all transitional production areas are cleaned up, the market could once again firm even with the artificially inflated prices currently being quoted by the industry.
Romaine Romaine supplies continue strong with most shippers starting their Winter districts. Quality has taken a significant jump from Northern California
Romaine Hearts also have seen a significant quality improvement in the desert with continued strong supplies as well as demand.
Red leaf, green leaf and Boston Steady supply with improving demand from the East Coast which will result in elevated pricing as shippers look to push prices closer to break-even levels. Quality has been varied but much improved to start the desert season .
And just like that it seems the Holiday pull has come and gone. Prices are now beginning to decline as buyers have satisfied thier appetities for their Thanksgiving demand. Look for prices to decline into next week and then sit there until the Christmas demand begins around the week of 12/4/23. Shippers are now harvesting in Salinas, Santa Maria and Oxnard. Quality in all three areas has been nice, general weights are 55# and we are finding good green color and very little to no pith.
Pricing turned a little quicker than anticipated. Light harvest volumes in both Salinas and Santa Maria have helped turn the tide. Although pricing is high it has seemed to hit a ceiling. Pricing is not expected to go any higher and we could start to see a slight decline starting as early as Monday of next week.
Slight price declines are expected as we finish out the week. Product is being harvested in Salinas, Santa Maria and the Desert regions. There might be some deals to be had over the next few days so run your ideas by us.
Fall production of the thornless variety has slowed with minimal new plantings to harvest. Most growers are cleaning up their last remaining fields in Salinas and will gap before starting Oxnard , Coachella or Mexico later this month.
Domestic production continues to be strong in Northern California as quality, higher yields and acres increase with growers mechanically harvesting which leads to a surge in production. Strong demand for Thanksgiving as well as the homegrown season winding down will inevitably lead to firmer pricing but take advantage of promotable offerings for the Holidays while they last.
Production has mostly returned to normal as growers in Mexico concentrate on improving quality and yields. Supplies are expected to remain steady while demand has increased, boosting prices higher . Supplies should be good through the month before weather and labor interruptions commence next month.
All of the California regions are expecting 1.5 to 2 inches of rain beginning Wednesday night and continuing through the weekend. These forecasted storms will most likely end the season for the Northern growers. In Santa Maria, Growers have been trying to pick as much fruit as possible before storms arrive. The Oxnard areas are past their peak and will be facing declining numbers into December. Fruit quality has been good out of Mexico with stable numbers that are expected to have increasing numbers as we approach the end of the year.
The main growing areas continue to be challenged with inclement weather. In the North we are expecting 4 to 5 days of wet weather beginning Wednesday night and continuing through the weekend. Santa Maria is expecting wet weather along with high wind gusts in the forecast. Mexico has moved on from quality issues that were created by the hurricanes several weeks ago. The quality of the fruit has been good with high Brix levels being reported.
We are expecting a slow, but steady rise in supplies predominantly out of Mexico. The majority of California Blackberry regions will be on the decline with the exception of Oxnard as they expecting decent numbers into December.
Baja production is past its peak and will continue to decline through year end. We expect the product out of Mexico to increase in the 1st week of December. The numbers out of Peru will continue to be steady and strong for the next several weeks.
The domestic seasons for yellow and white nectarines have concluded, along with white varieties. Offshore fruit season is anticipated to start in a few weeks. Red plums are currently limited, particularly in larger sizes, while black plums are available in all sizes. Both black and red plum seasons are expected to conclude next week.
Green Seedless grapes are still available in good supplies. Red grapes are becoming more scarce every day. Pricing is firm and expected to rise soon. Projected supplies of all grape varieties are expected to lighten over the next two weeks. Overall grape quality is exceptional. We will likely begin to see more quality issues arise as more storage fruit hits the market.
Navels are starting, but with low sugar based on recent quality reports. Improvement is expected over the next two weeks, though there might be delays in fruit orders. Consider pre-booking. While the market is currently high, it’s expected to settle in the coming weeks. This year will offer a lot choice fruit according to recent reports.
District 1 is now in full swing, bringing an increase in lemon supplies over the next two weeks. The pack outs show higher volumes on 115 to 200 count range. We’re anticipating a larger proportion of choice-grade fruit this season, leading to a more noticeable price difference between choice and fancy grades.
The market on Limes has moderated and prices though lower have begun to stabilize. Better demand at lower pricing is keeping the market from falling to levels more commonly associated with the time of year. There is perceived value currently based on the extreme high prices of the past couple of months. Small fruit continues to dominate; however, we have seen steady increases in pack outs of medium and large fruit. Despite the current volume increases and lower FOB’s, experts warn that mid-December could see a decline in volume and increase in pricing that could extend well into the new year.
We are seeing a slowdown on picking this week and that will continue into next week as growers seek to control inventories. A holiday in Mexico on Monday (Revolution Day) will result in a day of no harvest. Harvest projections remain light for the balance of the week due to Thanksgiving. Sizing heavier to larger sizes (48/60) with #2 fruit volume up slightly on the heels of the last rain storms which has caused some Lenticel damage to the exterior of the fruit. Small fruit may be challenging over the next couple of weeks.
Finally! We have some movement in the onion market. Demand exceeds supply for the balance of the week on most quality onion houses. Jumbo yellows are cleaning up like it was the fall of 2020 when we had sustained double digits market. As the packing houses go full force into the Thanksgiving pull the receivers are looking to move substantial numbers for the holiday. If the shippers don’t get too ambitious, this market will last through the first of the year and beyond.
The pipelines are cleaning up with lower pricing and demand is starting to show. As more and more growers go into contract mode with their buying, demand stays even. There’s not much serious advertising and the retailers don’t seem to care about putting something on “hot buys” …too much thinking as the corporate office is calling the shots in the produce aisle. The idea of paying a really sharp buyer a lot of money to make a lot of money seems to be declining…just saying.
Yuma seems to be winding down quickly and is not much of a factor moving forward. Mexico is in prodigious production and decent quality but had been discounting like mad to get business. They should be winding down their exports. Offshore is quickly becoming the main supply source. Production is okay, but not heavy as the have off and on seasonal rains, but the big storm is tracking away from them and heading Northeast. Quality is good and sizes are running heavy to jbo 6 jbo 9 and 9- with few if anything smaller. Overall demand is only fair and spot market demand is very slow. Prices going into next week look steady with some but less discounting
Yuma is winding down but not as rapidly as it is on cantaloupes. Mexico has copious volume and still is discounting like crazy or even giving them away with prices to be established after receivers sell them. Offshore has been slow to start but supplies are arriving. Quality is good offshore and variable in Mexico. Sizes peaking on 5s mostly with some larger and some 6s. Market should be steady to lower next week
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Broccoli production in Salinas and Santa Maria will slowly wind down before transitioning to the Desert. Patience and flexibility will again serve you well as this annual ritual of transitioning right in the middle of the Thanksgiving pull continues. Prices have escalated and Supplies should be overall sufficient but logistical challenges will be inevitable. Better production in the Desert is expected next week.
Production from Salinas and Santa Maria and now Oxnard has been steady allowing for flexible loading options . Quality remains mostly good to fair with some insect pressure. Improved supplies and availability in the desert are expected as Mexico begins production .
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
As growers transition to multiple production areas for the Winter including Mexico supplies are expected to improve along with quality.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine Lettuce production has mostly finished in Northern California and transition to the desert will commence in full next week with expected significant quality improvements. Markets remain mostly steady although demand has begun to escalate which will lead to firmer pricing.
Green and Red leaf Limited supply to start the desert season will give way to improved supplies and quality rapidly.
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Strong demand throughout the entire Citrus category due to strong retail sales and revived foodservice activity.
Lemon Mexico supplies continue to peak on smaller Choice fruit. California has limited production and size in the desert.
Lime quality and supplies remain inconsistent with varied prices.
California The Navel crop has begun with limited availability and size to start.