Conventional Items
Good weather out West combined with poor weather across the rest of the county continues to weigh on the produce market. Luckily overnight temperatures are still relatively cool enough to keep growth from being excessive for now although with mild demand many lettuce growers will make decisions to harvest based on labor and financial sustainability. Quality continues to vary with WIDE ranging color, texture and weights as well as varying degrees of discoloration due to epidermal blister and peel.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine and Romaine Hearts  Production has increased as the market remains resilient although continued poor weather around the country continues to plague overall demand and it feels inevitable prices will ease further. Quality remains mostly good although growers are dealing with excessive epidermal peel and discoloration that requires extra attention in the field to prevent issues upon arrival.
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston  Demand on Leaf continue to lag behind Romaine. Color and Texture has been affected as epidermal peel and discoloration remain widespread.
Increased availability out of Santa Maria and Oxnard has dropped FOB prices. Harvest estimates coming out of both these shipping districts will be good and shippers will be looking to move product. The desert growing regions will feel the affects of this and most likely will follow suit in order to keep product moving.
Thornless production continues mostly from the South Coast with predominantly large sizes. Improving supplies in the Desert and Mexico will stabilize prices , where up til now most have been transferred from the Coast. Most Chokes remain frosted although a few from isolated areas in Mexico avoided the heavy freezing temperatures the last couple weeks and should improve quicker.
We are starting to see more volume come out of Santa Maria now that it has recovered from the rains a few weeks back. Steady volume is also arriving into the Texas Valley out of Central Mexico. We are finding better availability out of all growing regions. We will see a slight decrease in prices going into next week.
The market has taken a dip and there is good availability out of all growing regions. Get with your Produce West sales representative to help find the best deal for you.
Brussels Sprouts
Mexico production has begun increasing and with improving growing conditions we anticipate supplies to meet demand in coming weeks. Prices have begun to sporadically ease and should continue to ease industry wide by the end of the month as quality and production improve.
Green Onions
Mexico is still lagging behind full production although supplies have slowly increased from last week and should continue to trend upwards.. Low yields and quality continue to hinder the industry. as well as Labor. Overall quality is varied as most growers are still dealing with the effects of previous cold temperatures.
Strawberries look to tighten up going into Valentine’s Day, so pre-ordering is strongly suggested. Central Mexico regions are producing moderate volumes which look good going into the holiday. Florida, with colder weather, has limited supplies. The Baja region is still behind schedule following some cooler weather. Volumes should increase by late-January and the quality is generally good. California volumes in Oxnard should continue to increase and Santa Maria is also starting to harvest some new crop. Santa Maria, California is forecast to be sunny, becoming partly cloudy on Friday through the weekend. Highs are expected in the 60s and lows in the 40s. Oxnard, California is forecast to be sunny, becoming partly sunny Friday through the weekend. Highs are forecast in the 60s and lows in the upper 40s to low 50s. California fruit is generally fair quality and may be subject to occasional bruising, misshapen, white shoulder, and mechanical damage.
Good quality but tightening supply as Mexico heads into the downward part of the current production cycle. Expect low production for the remainder of January and February, with more production coming in late February or early March. This is normal production cycling–typically December is the low month–but with a delayed start to the season, the low production cycle was pushed back
Lower production expected over the coming weeks, with production picking up heading into February.
More delays in transits from Chile, as many vessels have been delayed and are struggling as shortages in vessel freight/ships is just as bad as with general road transportation. Expect a continued tight market on blueberries through late January and into February, as production remains lower and is being heavily impacted by vessels.
Stone Fruit
More vessels arriving this week with white peach, flat white peach & white nectarines. Then the next vessel is scheduled to arrive this weekend and will available to load early next week. More yellow nectarines are expected to arrive towards the middle of next week. Our Eastern fruit is currently arriving, mostly white peaches and nectarines. More vessels are expected next week with yellow nectarines.
Light supplies continue this week as the supply chain struggles. We are currently in a demand exceeds supply scenario. With vessel delays and trucker shortages, it will take a while before shippers can dig out of this hole. More product is expected to land towards the middle of February and we expect better volume by the end of February. Until then. little or no fruit will be available.
California navel production continues and sizing id peaking on 88 and 113 count fruit. More large fruit is expected in the coming weeks. Some quality issues have been reported, including internal rot and decay. Most shippers are working through the issues, however volume is lighter as a result. Pricing has strengthened over the past 10 days. Markets are expected to continue strengthening as Florida volumes have significantly decreased due to quality issues and disease.
Steady markets continue this week on all sizes of lemons. California lemons are peaking on 115 and 140 count sizes. Small sizes continue to be limited. Quality is very nice with very few issues to report.
Good demand this week on limes. The weather forecast is showing rain during the week, which will affect production quality for the coming weeks. Markets corrected slightly over the past week, although we expect strong markets for the next few weeks.
Dry Onions
Ah, Onions…this is starting to become monotonous. The northwest is not quoting any straight loads on red onions and the market continues to rise. The Onions shippers are starting to emulate Salinas veg shippers…keep raising the market until your customer finally give up…but in the veg market the
product will fall apart and decay, so customers have to buy more. Not so in the Northwest deal. They have the advantage of sitting on product and letting it out a little at a time…and we are canaries in the coal mine gasping for product.
There are some red faces around the Mexican Asparagus market today. Those who put out ads this week were left high and dry by not having the necessary production to honor the ad’s that were taken a few weeks ago. It’s 37 degrees in Caborca this morning… but will get warmer as the week wears on. Prices are now in the low 20’s on 11/1’s but will go into the teens next week. There will be more 28/1’s around next week, but expect to be paying in the mid 40’s for same. As usual this deal will come on in a big way in February.
Demand has remained stubbornly slow, especially out of FLA ports of entry. There is better demand out of Mid Atlantic state ports into Northeast, where the most demand seems to be generated. Supplies have been ample and consistent decent and running mostly 9s, jbo 9s and 12. Honduras is taken over the volume from Guatemala. Quality has been good unless it is old product. Next week supplies should remain good, demand will remain lackluster unless there is a precipitous drop in the current high freight rates, especially our of Southern Fla. Markets look to be steady next week with discounting out of freight rate heave ports continuing.
Not much to report. Supplies are still light but improved with Nogales shipping again (5s and 6s); Honduras is increasing supplies as well (5s, jbo 5s and 6s). Once again freight rates are affecting supplies and creating discounting in the higher freight ports. These trends look unchanged into next week. We expect lower prices.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli   Production has started to recover as temperatures warm in the desert. Overnight temperatures are still cool enough to impact growth but the trend is for improved production especially Cauliflower which is extremely sensitive to changes in soil temperatures . Prices have begun to ease and should provide promotional opportunities in the weeks ahead,  Quality from the desert remains good.
OG Celery
Production and quality have been impacted along the coast. Improving production in Mexico and the desert will help provide more stable supply and better value as growers try to avoid transfer costs .
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Production is on the upswing with improved availability with prices easing. Supplies are expected to continue to improve next week.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production is expected to improve along with the weather although continue to plan ahead to get full coverage. Improved weather should help by the end of the month.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Romaine and Romaine Heart production has begun to improve although growers continue to deal with the impact of epidermal peel and blister as well as increased discoloration.    Green and Redleaf  Improved growth on leaf should benefit growers dealing with epidermal peel and discoloration, Although expect to see continued discoloration on arrival as the desert continues to get isolated overnight frost.
OG Citrus
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit   Strong demand throughout the entire Citrus category due to strong retail sales and revived foodservice activity. Mexico Lemon crop has slowed with continued heavy Choice fruit while California crop remains mostly Fancy grades. Lime quality and supplies remain inconsistent.  Navel production has picked up after weather delayed harvest the past couple weeks. The crop remains strong and quality has benefited  although sizing has begun to lean towards larger sizes , pushing the high demand, smaller size prices higher.  Clementines have resumed with moderate supplies although reduced yields, higher pricing is expected all season .  Caras and Blood Oranges   continue to offer an excellent Mid Winter value.

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