Conventional Items
The Desert should see their first weather event this weekend with rain in the forecast although warmer than normal temperatures persist. With mild demand some growers are contemplating laying out through Christmas Day. Markets remain steady with elevated quotes and daily dealing. Quality has been mostly very nice with some high core, varied color and weights. Minimal lettuce ice has been observed so far and the market is likely to remain steady until freezing temperatures materialize.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine  Romaine supplies continue strong from the Desert with excellent quality. Only minor frost delays so far in the Desert have kept epidermal blister mostly non-existent . Rain in the forecast could interrupt harvest this weekend but overall supplies remain strong.

Romaine Hearts  also have seen a significant quality improvement in the desert with continued strong supplies. Prices remain varied with plenty of affordable options.

Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston  Steady supply with improving demand from the East Coast. Quality continues to improve daily.

The Christmas demand is now over and prices are starting to deflate. We will see lower pricing going into next week. There are still some disease issues causing lighter yields in the Oxnard district but this problem wont have any affect on price.
With the cooler weather and forecast of rain in the Desert growing regions on Friday we still do not expect to see any change in the market. There are a few shippers that are starting to increase their FOB’s sighting lighter harvest yields due to weather but on the flipside there are shippers that are pricing product rather aggressively and are looking for business. There is also good availability out of the Carolinas and Central Mexico. Quality out of all these regions have been good.
We do not expect much change in this market as the week finishes out. Demand still remains very good and shippers are selling out daily. Lighter yields on 9 size flower is expected through next week and the demand exceeds on this size will remain unchanged.
Fall production of the thornless variety continues with minimal new plantings from Oxnard , Coachella and Mexico . Mostly yielding Extra Large , Jumbo size.  Expect limited supplies on Medium Large sizes through December. Light frost from some production areas has been reported but overall supplies should get a boost from weekend rain.
Brussels Sprouts
Domestic production continues to be strong in Northern California as quality, higher yields and acres remain . Strong demand for Christmas has slightly firmed prices on Mediums with still good volume available as well as steep discounts on off sizes.  Mexico crop will overlap production by mid January
Green Onions
Ideal weather has allowed steady production in Mexico leading up to strong Christmas demand but rain forecast this weekend combined with seasonal labor interruptions in Mexico during Christmas and New Years will impact supplies heading into January. Fortunately the crop appears strong and supplies should resume once labor crews return fully by mid January
Very light supplies on strawberries due to rain and cold weather. California fruit has fair color with white shoulders, occasional misshapen, bruising, and some brown calyx. Mostly smaller sizing. Santa Maria, California, is forecast for the week with colder temperatures. Central Mexico will continue with very light supplies as they are getting hit with hail and rain. Central Mexico seeing severe quality issues due to the recent hailstorms. Fruit will have quality issues for the next few weeks. Strawberries will be very limited going into the new year.  Florida will have limited production due to recent wet weather in the area.
Supplies continue to be light with better supplies expected in the next two weeks. We will see supplies slowly build as we move into late January. California volumes will be minimal as their season concludes.
Central Mexico was hit by quite a bit of rain and hail over the past two weeks. Supplies are expected to be low as production slows due to both loss of fruit and colder temperatures. The current outlook is that blackberries may not rebound until mid-January. Supplies will be lighter coming out of Mexico as we still are feeling the effects of recent cold weather patterns.
Baja production is past its fall peak and volumes will continue to decline over the next 3 to 4 weeks. Light supplies the next few weeks as Chile is slow to start. Most vessel arrivals are expected to begin at the end of the year (Week 52/Week 1) with limited airfreight coming in now. Chilean farmers have reported colder than normal temperatures which have slowed their production.
Stone Fruit
The stone fruit season has come to an end. The offshore fruit season is anticipated to commence in the weeks ahead.
Expect tight import inventories this week, especially with reds. California shippers are clearing out stocks to help with the limited supply. The transition to 18-pound imports is reducing surplus. The East Coast is getting the majority of volume from Peru, and this will continue through the Holidays. The West Coast will likely have a tight market until mid-January when shipments from Chile arrive. High-quality grape volumes from Peru and Chile will peak on the East Coast after Christmas.
California is experiencing heavy rain this week, affecting harvest through the Holiday. Orchards need time to dry before harvest resumes. Growers have harvested early in anticipation. Navels are vibrant and delicious, with color and sweetness increasing due to cooler nights. Larger sizes like 72s are abundant, while 88s and smaller are more limited this month. Expect similar conditions and strengthening markets for the new year.
District One is making good progress, but expect limited availability of fancy fruit in sizes 115 and larger. The fruit is undergoing a 1-2 day gas treatment to enhance its color. While there may still be a slight green tint, improvements are expected this week. Sizes are peaking on 140 and 165 count fruit. Smaller lemons are abundant with robust supply and competitive pricing.
Avocado prices are on the rise, particularly for larger sizes such as 48’s and 60’s. In preparation for the upcoming New Year, there has been an increase in harvesting to ensure an ample supply and avoid shortages. However, this effort comes with added expenses. While the current stocking up is aimed at maintaining a temporary balance, there is a possibility of prices going up a bit in early 2024. Growers are gearing up for higher demand during football playoffs, leading to an increase in fruit harvesting. Despite a potential slight drop in prices during the holidays, we anticipate a more demanding and challenging start to the new year.
Lime prices on the rise on lighter supplies. Despite fruit coming from multiple regions, the overall volume is decreasing and we are preparing to see elevated pricing across all sizes moving into the new year. Suppliers have been alerting buyers for several weeks that the expectation is that there will be a significant drawdown to the volumes available due to previous weather events. More rain forecast in Mexico late next week will further disrupt production.
Dry Onions
Tight supply situations continue to plague the onion market. Demand is still very good at higher pricing as jobbers and chains get use to paying $22-$24 for the same thing they were paying $16-18 a few weeks ago. There is no immediate end in sight. What a business, eh?
The demand for Asparagus is very high and the chains that booked lids for this period are in good shape…everyone that depends on getting grass on the spot market are suffering… prices as high as $60 on larger and mid 50’s on standards.
No real changes to report. All are from the Caribbean basin arriving mostly at Florida Ports of Entry (POE), with a few on other ports in the mid-Atlantic, Texas and Southern CA. Volume is steady and moderate and peaking on larger sizes, jbo and reg 9s with some 12s and some larger. Quality is iffy leaving us with a two tiered market. Demand on contracted product is steady, but spot market demand is very slow due to seasonal taste and the aforementioned iffy quality. Little looks to be changing next week, other than perhaps some unloading holiday disruptions at the ports.
Mexico is still shipping but winding down. Sizes are skewing of reg 5 & 6 count. Quality is okay. Offshore product is iffy quality and light supplies with size skewing to jbo 5 and 5 with some 6s and some larger. Demand is quite slow other than contracted or pre- committed. Market is steady and two tiered (for offshore) with deep discounts being offered on off quality. Little looks to be changing next week.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Broccoli production have improved as well as quality resulting in stable prices while slightly cooler temperatures have slowed Cauliflower production although sufficient supplies remain at relatively affordable pricing. Demand has improved but still mostly moderate
OG Celery
Production remains mostly in Oxnard with yields being impacted by soil borne disease . Production from the Desert and Mexico remains limited but should improve in January. Prices have escalated as demand has increased for Christmas and should continue through New Years. Quality remains mostly good to fair with some insect pressure.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Multiple production areas continue to offer sufficient options and strong supplies with excellent quality.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Steady supplies and improved quality should continue as weather in the Desert has been ideal. Markets remain mostly steady with good demand. Rain this weekend in the Desert will temporarily interrupt harvest.

Green and Red leaf   Supplies remain steady with improved quality and strong demand. Epidermal blister remains mostly non-existent as temperatures in the desert remain warmer than normal.

OG Citrus
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit  Strong demand throughout the entire Citrus category due to strong retail sales and revived foodservice activity.

Grapefruit production is currently strong with mostly Fancy, Large size fruit available

Lemon  Mexico supplies continue to peak on smaller Choice fruit while California production has improved with increasing Fancy fruit and size in the desert. Prices have begun to ease and should be promotable heading into January.

Lime quality and supplies remain inconsistent with varied prices.


The Navel crop has begun to peak with much improved supplies brix, quality and size as prices ease to promoteable levels

Produce West Inc. | 831-455-2981 | 831-455-1666 | www.producewest.com

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