Conventional Items
The market continues steady with CV-19 restrictions and shutdowns and escalating freight rates restraining demand while widespread frost and cooling soil temperatures slow growth. Quality continues to be mostly very nice although temperatures , closer to freezing , will likely impact quality in coming weeks. Prices are expected to firm if the freezing temperatures persist.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine and Romaine Hearts  Romaine supplies continue to be strong while demand remains mild.  Cooler conditions with more widespread frost is forecast for the balance of the week and will likely impact quality and supplies. Romaine Heart demand is much better than carton Romaine with slightly elevated pricing. Mild epidermal peel is evident in most areas with overall quality still good although near freezing temperatures will likely increase the blister , peel and discoloration and could tighten supplies by delaying harvest hours.
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston  prices remain steady at sustainable levels although most shippers’ have limited supplies of Red leaf which has kept prices firmer.  Quality remains very nice from most production areas.
Prices have escalated this week due to cooler temperatures. Product is just not sizing up as it should especially with the cooler nighttime temperatures that we have experienced. Most shippers in the Oxnard and Santa Maria districts where the largest acreage sits have the ability to harvest 36 sizes only or wait for the product to size up. Most are now going to wait for more sizing. Expect prices to continue to climb as we go into next week.
Production of the thornless varieties from most production areas continue to sustain mild to moderate frost damage as overnight temperatures hover near freezing. . 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.
Limited availability out of California and the Desert growing regions for the remainder of the week. Cooler temperatures are forecasted for these areas going into the weekend and this will keep prices at current levels and possibly a tick higher come Monday. There is good availability out of Texas on Mexican crowns due to a significant jump in freight rates this week. Buyers will wait it out until next week to load hoping rates will drop. We should see active buying out of Texas next week, taking advantage of the lower prices. Thank you for the business on our Shui Ling Crowns out of Mexico shipping out of Pharr,TX. We will have consistent supplies available next week. Quality has been excellent with 4″-5″ domes and true short cut with less than 5% hollow core.
Business has been brisk this week on flower. We feel the market has topped out though and we should start to see a decrease in prices beginning next week if not earlier. Quality has been very nice, sizing has been on the smaller size due to the cooler growing temperatures. Good availability is expected for next week.
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 by early next month.
Green Onions
Mexico production has started its seasonal shortage with cooler weather and reduction in Mexico’s labor force combining to limit supplies. Pricing has firmed and will continue to escalate for the next few weeks.
Volumes should increase gradually as we move into the month of January. As always, availability will be subject to weather.  Florida volume is declining due to recent rains. The forecast for the next few days is a chance of rain, combined with very cool temperatures. Central Mexico is also receiving volume short of expectations due to slower fruit ripening. There is a chance of showers in the forecast for California all next week.
Stone Fruit
Delays continue at the ports of entry which have prevented much of the early offshore stone fruit from hitting land. We are expecting some peaches and nectarines to start arriving later next week but in very limited supply. Utility plums are finished for the season. Offshore plums are not expected to arrive for another 3 weeks.
Red grape varieties remain plentiful , with a good amount of storage fruit expected to last well into January. Green grape supplies are dwindling quickly and storage greens will likely clean up by the end of next week. Quality is holding up on the red varieties, although greens are showing more issues as the product is held longer in storage. Imported fruit is arriving on both coasts in light numbers and pricing is elevated. More offshore arrivals are expected to arrive over the next couple of weeks, which will overlap storage supplies, exceeding demand.
Oranges – Good supplies of fancy oranges this week. Better color has been reported and quality is excellent overall. Demand is still sluggish, and deals are being made by shippers wanting to clean up inventories. Good volumes, especially on 88 and 113 count fruit. Run offers by us on all sizes.
Lemons – Mexico production is mostly finished, with the exception of a few large sizes available on the market. Good supplies this week on California lemons. Quality is very nice, and shippers are looking to move product. Restaurant closures have severely impacted the lemon market, and we expect this to continue well into the new year.
Limes – Good supplies continue this week on limes, especially on 175 and 200 count sizes. Shippers are looking to move on all sizes and listening to reasonable offers. Quality has been holding up nicely and color is deep and uniform. Like lemons, the lime market is lackluster due to bar and restaurant closures.
Dry Onions
Time marches on and the Onion shippers are keeping up with demand. The latest shutdowns of restaurants in CA and other parts of the country have been taking the small glimmer of business away and replacing it with more handouts. The slow startup of vaccinations hasn’t helped, but it’s at least
getting to the brave medical population and some of the elderly in nursing homes. Let’s hope the speed up of vaccinations will open things up and stem the recent tide of new case. Wear you Mask. How many of us have gotten halfway across a parking lot, to only turn around and return to your car because you forgot to put your mask on…there should be a name for the function…
Volumes of asparagus out of Peru will slow to a trickle for the next two weeks as strike unfolds in the growing and shipping areas. There will be a very large gap in supplies unless they can settle this strike. Mexico (Caborca) has burned its fern two weeks ago and are getting very low yield due to cold temps.
I’ve been told by a very competent source that the low temps and the high daily temp have to ad up to 120 for the Asparagus to start to grow. Right now, and into next week here will only be a total of 110. Grass supplies are going to be limited for a few weeks. Avoid all ads until this starts to clear up.
As we enter the new year. there appears to be little change ahead for the tight cantaloupe market. Lingering damage from the Hurricanes that hit Guatemala and Honduras as well as the heavy rains that hit other production areas has devastated supplies, causing replanting, which will not be ready until very late in February or early March. There is a small increase in volume expected to arrive next week, but how much of that volume will be usable remains an open question. Also existing contracts will make spot market supplies even scarcer. Once again it looks like high price, very limited availability and poor quality will be the theme again to start 2021.
Honeydews are available but in worse shape than cantaloupes. Offshore product is quite sparse and quality is mostly unusable for retail. Mexico still has fruit and quality while variable is better than offshore and much lower priced, which makes them a better procurement option. Demand has been very slow. Prices have been steady. Not much should change next week.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli   Cooler weather has again begun to slow production to match moderate demand .  Prices have begun to firm and likely will escalate if colder weather persists.
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 and cooler temperatures will keep supplies limited through the New Year. Anticipate increased epidermal peel and discoloration following this week’s colder temperatures.  Green and Red leaf  quality looks good and offer a significantly better value although colder temperatures are expected for the end of the week and will likely impact supplies .
OG Citrus
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Demand continues to be strong throughout the Citrus category due to retail sales. California Winter lemon crop improves weekly at 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. Some much needed Rain could delay harvest but will eventually improve sizing and quality . Mandarins continue to offer a terrific value with excellent flavor and sizing profile providing a great item for retail promotions. Specialty varieties should be starting up early next month with Cara’s , Minneolas and later next month Bloods
OG Peppers
California / Mexico  Good Supplies of Green Bells with continued limited supplies of Colored Bells expected through early next month. . The market reflects the disparity in production.

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