Conventional Items
Weather continues to be the overriding factor dictating market direction with mostly ideal weather although minor frost delays have limited most growers ability to harvest at full capacity.  These delays have kept the Supply and Demand in Balance and prices steady. Overnight temperatures are forecast to warm over the next 4-5 days which will allow for full production before Frost returns early next week likely leading to lower prices as the week progresses . Quality continues to be mostly very nice although increased epidermal peel has been visible. We anticipate deals to be available through the end of the week before firming later next week.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine and Romaine Hearts  Romaine supplies continue to be strong while demand remains moderate for cartons but strong for Hearts. Warmer overnight temperatures will push production although labor will remain less than full capacity especially for the more labor intensive commodities such as Hearts . Epidermal blister and peel has begun to be more prevalent although currently quality is mostly very nice. Some growers have been letting heads size up and peeling away any outer issues leading to slightly more pale Hearts. Retail demand continues to be strong for Hearts keeping prices elevated while carton Romaine has leveled off.
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston  Prices on Greenleaf and Boston leveled off while red leaf, due to decreased acres, has escalated . Shippers’ will continue with limited supplies of red leaf which will keep prices elevated. Quality remains very nice from most production areas although some epidermal peel has been visible .
We are starting to find a little more availability, which most likely means that at the current $40.00 + FOB’s demand is starting to slow down. Light production is still in the forecast through January but with warmer weather in all growing regions over the next 5 days most growers will start to see better sizing which equates to higher yields. It feels as though we could start to see a decline in pricing sometime next week. Quality has been good, dark green color and good weights. There is very little to no insect or disease pressure being found. Shipping points are Santa Maria, Oxnard and down in the Yuma region.
Production of the thornless varieties from most production areas continue to sustain mild to moderate frost damage as overnight temperatures hovered near freezing. . Availability of  “clean ” artichokes will be extremely limited until we transition to new production areas later this month. Heirloom and Original varieties will return in the Spring.
Demand remains steady on all packs but especially on crowns. The market will settle in at current trading levels going into next week. There is availability out of Santa Maria, the Yuma regions as well as Texas with products from Mexico. There is also some light production coming out of Florida. Our Shui Ling production was limited this week but we should get back to normal production next week.
Prices are on the floor and shippers need help moving products. We won’t see much change this week or the beginning of next week, but supplies could tighten up a little by the end of next week. Santa Maria is currently offering out the cheapest deals but the Desert regions are bringing prices down daily as well.
Brussels Sprouts
Coastal California supplies continue to be strong with a mix of quality and sizing. Pricing remains elevated in the desert due to mostly transferred product from Northern California production areas. Mexico has begun limited production with expected better overall quality in coming weeks
Green Onions
Mexico production has been limited due to cool weather and seasonal labor shortage pushing prices higher.  We haven’t had the sustained prolonged freeze normal for this time of year so we anticipate a quicker return to normal supplies than previous years but labor will be slow to fully return keeping supplies tight and Prices elevated for another couple weeks.
Strawberries are very tight in all areas due to the cooler weather and rain. Look for the market to have increasing supplies going forward. Next week Mexico will be the primary source of supply. Florida will work through their weather related issues over the next 7 to 10 days.
Colder temperatures are the major factor supplies are short.  In addition, transfer trucks have caused some loading delays. Quality has been good with excellent flavor. Central Mexico has had some weather related issues due to colder temperatures
Supplies will begin to downtrend over the next few weeks for most suppliers.   Quality has been good with excellent taste.
Market remains steady, fruit is coming from Central Mexico and imports from Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Long Beach port is experiencing several day delays in container unloadings due to a backlog, due to lack of labor.
Stone Fruit
Light supplies of large sized yellow peaches and nectarines are currently available. The offshore stone fruit season continues to be delayed. Because of continued back log of vessels in Southern California, the next containers will not be available until late next week. White nectarines will be available during the first week of February. Yellow peaches, nectarines and plums should see better volume by the second week of February, assuming there are no more port delays.
Import grapes are in full swing. East coast red and green grapes are plentiful as more imports are arriving daily. Both Peruvian and Chilean fruit is arriving on both coasts and inventories are improving. West coast container delays are still still limiting supplies out west. Excellent quality reports on the product arriving. Berry structure is strong with green stems. Red varieties include Allison, Crimson and Flames. The main green varieties are Sugar Ones and Thompsons. Steady pricing is expected for the next two weeks.
Oranges – Excellent quality on navels. Cool weather has greatly benefitted this years crop, allowing fruit to color up and obtain adequate sugars. We have not seen many quality issues these past 2 months. Fancy fruit is plentiful, with a lot of the fancy product going into choice boxes. Sizes are peaking on 72 and 88 sizes. Lighter supplies reported on small 138 sizes. We expect these trend to continue foe the next few weeks.
Lemons – Good quality industry wide. Stronger markets this week as foodservice business slowly improves. District 3 will be ending soon which will lighten supplies in the coming weeks. Good supplies on fancy fruit and large sizes. Better markets expected in the coming weeks.
Limes – Good supplies on 200 count limes this week. Rain is in the forecast for next week, which will tighten supplies. Quality has been good, although there have been some reports of discoloration and blanching.
Cantaloupes remained in a demand exceeds very light supply situation yet again this week, and this does not look to be changing anytime soon. The enduring damages from the Hurricanes that hit Central America at the very beginning of the season caused such severe and widespread damage that essentially the whole deal needed to be replanted. Yields of what they are getting are very low and quality it fair at best causing what is arriving to be repacked and cutting supplies even further. Set contracts are taking up nearly all available product. In short, there is a severe shortage keeping prices high. This looks to continue at least until the end of January and possibly into February
Guatemalan and Honduran honeydew continue to arrive in limited volume due to hurricanes at the beginning of the season and continued wet weather in the weeks after the hurricanes. Sugar has been decent and quality has been just okay. Occasional black spots have been found, with minimal wind scarring. Mexico is shipping and getting lion’s share of the business driving prices there higher. Overall demand is fair. New areas in Mexico are due to start and with warming weather could increase supplies considerably. Demand could improve with cantaloupes as short as they are prices in Mexico could ease off as new areas pick up production. We look for a steady to moderately lower market next week.
Dry Onions
The Jumbo Yellow Onion doldrums continue. Pricing is very cheap and shippers are looking to move volume so run any and all offers by us!
Quality is very nice and supplies are improving daily. More product is crossing from Mexico this week, which is helping to keep up with demand and providing some relief. We expect even more product in the pipeline by next week and pricing will start to settle as a result.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli   Mostly ideal weather conditions have pushed production once again forward in the desert. . Prices have retreated but look for supplies to stabilize with cooler temperatures forecast for next week . Quality remains at Seasonal peak .
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Availability and pricing appear to be mostly steady with improving demand
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. Production continues to be limited to shortage.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Demand for romaine continues to keep prices elevated while  Green and Redleaf  supplies remain slightly better, offering a decent value. Epidermal peel has been more prevalent but overall quality has been nice.
OG Citrus
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Demand continues to be strong throughout the Citrus category due to retail sales. California Winter lemon crop remains strong with slightly elevated pricing. Many shippers have shifted production exclusively to bags on All Citrus. Lime quality remains inconsistent. The Navel crop profile remains perfect for retail demand as we are in Peak production.  Mandarins continue to offer a terrific value with excellent flavor and sizing profile providing a great item for retail promotions. Specialty varieties have begun with Cara’s , Satsumas, Minneolas and later this monthTango’s and Bloods
OG Peppers
California / Mexico :  Continued limited supplies of Colored Bells but good supplies of Green Bells although improved weather should help improve supplies of all colors in coming weeks.

Leave a Reply