11/25/20

Conventional Items
Lettuce
The market is currently adjusting mostly due to light demand as a result of high prices and the uncertainty of CV-19 restrictions nationwide. Additionally a few shippers are offering steep discounts to clean up older production areas. Supplies from the Southwest Desert areas are still being affected by soil-borne disease but temperatures are forecast to remain ideal with minimal frost which should help improve quality, yields and supply.  We still expect some Volatility as we enter December where temperatures will dictate supply.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine Demand for Carton and Hearts has temporarily eased this week with the Thanksgiving Holiday but is anticipated to remain strong as growers continue to have reduced acres to account for CV-19 and the other unnamed pathogens. Prices are likely to ease slightly but remain elevated. We anticipate improved quality heading into December but seasonally Cold temperatures could impact supplies later next month. Volatility will likely remain as we continue to deal with the uncertainty of demand.
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston  prices remain mostly steady with. Improved quality evident from the desert. Quality is expected to improve weekly and pricing should ease to more sustainable levels as production ramps up
Celery
We will have a little lull in the market until the Christmas pull starts in about 2 weeks. There is good availability on all sizes and shippers are making deals to keep these moving. You can load out of Santa Maria,Oxnard and Yuma.  Quality is good with nice green color and heavy weights coming out of both growing regions.
Artichokes
Production of the thornless varieties from Northern California sustained moderate frost damage a couple weeks ago as overnight temperatures dropped significantly below frost levels . Availability of  “clean ” artichokes will be extremely limited until we transition to new production areas later next month.  Heirloom and Original varieties will return in the Spring.
Broccoli
Production has started to pick up in the desert growing regions and Mexico. Markets are in a downward correction as the higher prices over the last two weeks have slowed demand. Cooler temperatures are expected in both the Santa Maria and desert growing regions next week so this could slow production and settle the price correction in the low to mid teens. We will have steady supplies of our Shui Ling Crowns loading in Pharr ,Tx over the next two weeks. Get with your Produce West sales representative for the latest information.
Cauliflower
Ample availability is expected over the next 10 days. Markets will continue to decline going into next week as we head into one of the slower weeks of the year, post Thanksgiving. Quality out of all growing regions is very nice, good white color and dark green jackets. Run your offers by us.
Brussels Sprouts
Coastal California supplies continue to be strong with a mix of quality and sizing. Prices have firmed with strong Thanksgiving Holiday demand. There will be a lull in demand post Thanksgiving that will offer potential value buys but traditionally strong December demand will likely continue to keep prices elevated .
Green Onions
Mexico production continues steady with quality and yields showing improvement. Pricing remains mostly steady but is expected to move higher heading into December which traditionally encounters colder temperatures and seasonal labor shortages especially towards the end of the month.
Strawberries
As Northern California winds down, Oxnard and Central Mexico supplies are increasing. For Thanksgiving week, markets are weaker in all growing areas. Santa Maria, California is forecast on Wednesday to be partly sunny with sunny skies for the balance of the week. Highs are forecast in the 60s, increasing to the 70s for the weekend; lows are forecast in the 40s on Wednesday, decreasing to the 30s for the balance of the week. Central Mexico is forecast for sunny skies on Wednesday and Thursday, mostly sunny on Friday, Saturday mainly cloudy, and Sunday sunny skies. Highs are forecast in the 80s and lows in the 50s. Santa Maria, California fruit has some occasional bruising, white shoulders, soft shoulders, water damage, overripe, and misshapen. Average counts are 26 to 28, occasionally higher and lower.
Raspberries
Production is coming on in Central Mexico! Steady volumes in Baja.
Blueberries
Imports continue to come in with very good volume on the East Coast. Mexico is ramping up as well. Expect good supply across all regions now through December.
Blackberries
Mexican production on both organic and conventional is falling off as we are past the fall peak. Production will stay lower until late January when the large ramp-up will last into early March before trickling down until the end of the season in June.
Stone Fruit
Utility red plums are still available in small amounts. There is little to no availability this week on most stone fruit varieties, as we are currently in a production gap. Offshore fruit is expected to start arriving in 2 weeks. We will start off with strong markets in early December, continuing through the new year.
Grapes
California growers are finished with harvest for the year. Storage red grapes are in good supply. Quality is still ok , although condition will inevitably decline in the coming weeks. Green seedless grapes are available in storage, although volumes are much tighter and quality will decline faster in storage. We expect a ‘demand exceeds’ scenario in December on greens, and tight supplies will continue through the new year. Black seedless grapes are available, although supplies are declining rapidly. Peruvian grapes are expected to start arriving next week in light supplies.
Citrus
Oranges – More California navels are entering the pipeline. Color is improving daily and overall quality has been very nice. Volumes are peaking on the 88 and 113 count fruit and shippers are looking to move product. Pricing is expected to remain steady post Thanksgiving.
Lemons – Plenty of deals on small sized Chilean lemons as that season comes to a close. District 1 is starting, further adding to the supply exceeds demand scenario we are currently in. As more restaurants are ordered to close, we will see further stagnation of these markets. Quality has been strong overall. Run offers by us, as shippers continue looking to move product.
Limes – Plenty of volume available this week on most sizes. Mexico has experienced good growing conditions over the past few weeks and quality has been very nice. Shippers are looking to move inventories, especially on 175 and 200 count fruit, so run offers by us on limes.
Dry Onions
There are a lot of long faces around Chicago, Detroit, New York etc. as the local and state governments impose curfews and are barring indoor dining. The CDC keeps reporting incredible spikes in Covid infections as hospitals continue to fill up. If and when the vaccines start to leak into our economy so will business begin to leak back. This is starting to feel like a Pregnancy…little by little the vaccine will expand until finally there will be a birth of screaming active food service infant. There will be fits and starts, but we will see it crawling then wobbly walking and finally running and bringing bubbly life back to our business. The Onion markets are plodding along and using whatever transportation is available to move product.
They could move a lot more product if there were more trucks. This writer paid $1.69 per pound on jumbo yellow onions yesterday. That’s an $84.50 return on a 50# bag. Please note this was in Woodland CA outside of Sacramento where freight is cheaper than going east. Glad to see someone is getting rich on onions. Retail continues to thrive.
Asparagus
Demand is starting to show up as pricing drops. I’m sure there will be some
real interesting promotions coming in the next few weeks including Christmas
ads. The market will continue to be in the teens until around the 10th and 12th of December. The Peruvian gush will add up to about 140 containers a week
through mid to late December. That’s about 440,000 cartons per week. Couple
that with what’s shipping from Mexico and we have more than we’ve ever had
this time of year without restaurants there to support the supply.
Cantaloupes
Market is in a bit of a twilight zone right now with many unknowns. Domestic has only a few desert loads left mostly 12s with some 9s. Mexico is continuing to produce with a wide range of quality and prices and run of sizes. Prices are much higher on jbo 9s and reg 9s than others from there. Offshore has had a few arrive this week, mostly in South Florida and shipped between after the first hurricanes in Guatemala. Sizes peaking on 9s with some other sizes. Quality is okay. Net week domestic will be done. Mexico should continue to be steady in both supply and size. Offshore will have virtually nothing arriving until the next weekend at the earliest as a second hurricane had delayed shipments from there. Guatemalan quality is the wild card here as we need to see how they arrive after all the rain they had. Demand should be very dull. No promotions. No cruises. Few restaurants and resorts and not many retail purchased during the winter. COVID is rampant still and stilting demand. Look for little change most of next week.
Honeydews
As has been the case most of the fall the narrative on honeydews mirrors cantaloupes. Domestic is finishing. Mexico is shipping mostly 5,6 and jbo 5s but also some 8s with a wide range of quality and prices. Off shores just beginning with 5 and 6 count and mostly good quality but that new arrives could show problems from the rains there. Demand will be struggling with the same issues that are facing the cantaloupes. We look for a dull and mostly steady market next week.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli   . Strong demand and light supplies due to Cold weather pushed pricing higher . Demand is expected to ease off the Holiday rush and supplies should slowly improve as transition to the warmer desert climate begins next week . We anticipate markets to settle at more sustainable levels before December Holiday demand potentially pushes prices higher .
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Availability and pricing appear to be mostly steady with demand expected to surge as local Homegrown production comes to a close.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady and demand continues to spike led by the Farm to Family Program. Most growers have been reaching for supplies . Continue to plan ahead even further 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 to shortage.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Demand for romaine continues to be strong especially hearts although demand has slowed this week prices remain elevated . Improved quality is expected to directly impact supplies from the warmer Southwest desert production areas.  Green and Redleaf  quality look much improved and should offer a significantly better value as we settle into the desert season . Expect volatility to continue especially with romaine as we deal with the uncertainty of demand.
OG Citrus
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 as well as the California /Winter crop with limited production. Pricing remains competitive. Many shippers have shifted production exclusively to bags on All Citrus. Lime quality remains inconsistent. The Navel crop profile remains perfect for retail demand . Flavor and sizing profile will improve weekly, Mandarins have begun with limited production with excellent flavor and sizing profile. Now is the time to get in your orders for the Holiday’s
OG Peppers
California / Mexico :  Improved supplies of Green Bells is expected from Mexico while Red and Yellow Bells continue to be very limited awaiting start up in Mexico . We anticipate improved production in a couple weeks.

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