The iceberg lettuce market surge appears to have peaked as growers have been uncertain regarding quality and lack of volume during the upcoming transition while buyers have been apprehensive of high prices. Transition to Northern California is expected to begin early next week for a few shippers reaching to supplement their current production. During the transition many growers will have overlapping production areas eventually leading to easing of the market.even as overall production remains the same. Quality will continue to be varied in ALL areas with epidermal blister, uneven growth , sizing and texture in addition to Heavy supplies of smaller 30’s.
Romaine and Romaine Hearts Demand for Romaine continues to be good especially Romaine Hearts as labor continues to be an issue. Transition to Central California production areas will take an additional week before industry volumes will overlap although there appears to be increasing supplies of Carton Romaine in areas of the Desert with many growers electing to plant unscheduled acres. Epidermal Blister and discoloration continue to be an issue with many growers stripping off most of the damage in the field, Pricing is expected to widely vary over the next few weeks as growers try to get a handle on their situation.
Red leaf, Greenleaf and Boston Demand on Leaf has also peaked but should continue at current levels as overall production will remain steady. Quality on the other hand will vary which could lead to a tiered market depending on quality and availability
Demand continues to be good. Pricing will hold at current trading levels for the remainder of the week. Qualiy is very nice out of all shipping districts. Good green color and weights in the mid 50 lb. range.
Thornless production continues from the South Coast and the Desert with most Artichokes being discounted due to frost damage including the Original and Heirloom varieties produced in the Salinas / Castroville area. Currently priced to move, take advantage of these superior edible chokes while in season.
Plenty of availability from all growing districts. Santa Maria, the Desert growing areas and Mexico all have good supplies right now. Salinas has started harvesting and has good availability.
Steady supplies available and it looks like we should see better harvest numbers as we finish out the week. Look for pricing to decline slightly as we move into next week. Availability out of the Desert regions, Santa Maria and Salinas.
Mexico production continues to be strong and with improving growing conditions we anticipate supplies to continue to be heavy. Prices remain mostly steady with volume deals available. Strong Ad for Easter business will eventually lead to firmer pricing .
Mexico supplies have just about returned to full production as prices stabilize. Quality has been varied as they continue to experience shifts in temperature causing some quality issues.
Expect stronger demand as we approach the Easter pull. Combined with the end of the season in Central Mexico and Florida demand and markets for California will be stronger. The Baja region has good numbers and California production in Oxnard and Santa Maria should continue to increase. Santa Maria, California is forecast for sunny skies and a windy afternoon on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday partly sunny, Saturday and Sunday possible showers with windy conditions on Sunday. Highs are forecast in the 60s and lows in the 40s. Oxnard, California is forecast to be sunny and breezy Wednesday, becoming cloudier for the weekend. Highs are expected in the 60s and lows in the 40s. California fruit is generally fair quality and may be subject to occasional bruising, misshapen, white shoulder, wind damage, and bronzing.
Production increases are slowing down as heavy rain hit Michoacan over the past week. The heavy peak in March is expected to be smaller, and supplies are starting to tighten up this week. Pricing is adjusting to more historical norms.
Similar to blackberries, the raspberry peak is smaller in March and heavier in May. So, expectations are for a lesser supply and a stronger market for the remainder of March through the first half of April.
Chile continues to move mass volume to both coasts. Market continues to be low cost as demand has been far below normal. Cold weather has also impacted demand, particularly in the North/Northeast, which were hit by snow. Florida is starting to pick with more volume expected over the coming weeks, peaking early April. Georgia was hit by a heavy frost over the weekend – anything without frost protection is gone. Early estimates put the loss around 20-30% of the crop as a conservative estimate. Given the split acreage between Southern and Central Georgia, expectations are still for a good, albeit late, crop in Georgia.
White Peaches are mostly finished for the import season. White nectarines are still available in limited volumes for the next 2 weeks. Chilean red and black plums are now available on the west coast and more sizing options are available. Quality has been solid on plums. Yellow peaches and nectarines are available on both coasts in limited volumes. Quality has been good overall with very few issues to report.
Markets have eased up significantly on red green and black grapes over the past two weeks. Offshore arrivals are increasing and shippers are looking to move their ever increasing inventories. Some split markets are appearing between new and old fruit as shippers attempt to clean out old fruit to make way for new arrivals. Pricing is expected to remain depressed for the remainder of the month as more vessels are expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Run offers by us.
Good navel production out of the California central valley this week. Quality reports have been positive with very few issues to report. More large fruit available and we expect more balance between sizes on both choice and fancy. Good color and sugar.
Steady markets this week. Better production expected in the coming weeks, and markets are likely going to continue settling. Most of the product is grading fancy and shippers are looking to move product. Expect similar conditions for the remainder of the month. Sizing is peaking on 115 and 140 count fruit.
Production is slowing down this week out of Mexico as a result of lower temperatures in growing regions. More rain in the forecast this weekend will likely further slow production and if demand remains at current levels we will see higher pricing by the weekend. Sizing is peaking on 200 and 230 count fruit. Quality defects remain, and rain will not help.
An occasional load of Jumbo Yellow Onions pops up that is unsold…there might be some buyer’s resistance at the high levels that onions have been selling. This isn’t medicine, but there still is enough demand to carry most of these prices through to the end of the deal in the Northwest. Mexico continues to cross some onions, but the bulk is staying in Mexico, especially the white ones.
The Easter Ad season has begun and the strike price at the moment is in the low to mid $30’s for shipping the week of the 4 th of April, which will be upon us in hurry. There is no doubt that the chains will pop with some loss leaders in the $1.99 range to attract that business. The food service industry is back
to, I’m guessing here, 60-75%. As the hotels and bars open so will the conventions. Southern Exposure was very well attended and people are thirsting to “get away”…that could only mean more demand.
Once again little has changed market wise for cantaloupes. Contract pricing still dominates sales, with spot market sales being seemingly eternally lackluster. What did change is the size configuration, which is skewing much larger. 12 count and smaller are on the short supply side, but they are no favored or heavily contracted sizes so they remained steady. Demand is concentrated on regular 9 size (most heavily contracted) and those prices are firm with spot market prices a bit higher. Jbo 9 and 6s size have more than normal volume and are being discounted on the spot market. Still in force is the skewed port of entry volumes, but supply chains have already adapted to that as it has been the case all season. Next week little looks to change again, but perhaps with more normal size distribution.
Once again the demand on dews is pretty steady, lackluster and dominated by contracts. Mexico supplies have increased a bit in response to warmer weather, but still very light and mostly taking care of the western states. Off shore supplies are skewing smaller, unlike cantaloupes, making 5 and larger sizes on the snug side but with plenty of 6 size. Quality if good, with less distressed fruit arriving. Market is steady with less discounting. We see no significant changes ahead.
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli The Teeter Totter weather pattern continues to contribute to varied supplies , Markets are currently escalating as we enter the final stretch of the Winter Desert season . Supplies will be spread throughout the state and result in tiered pricing depending on location.
Pricing continues to firm as production in the desert and Mexico finishes up. With Oxnard the main production area , look for prices to continue to firm especially if loading in other districts where supplies have to be transferred.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Production remains mostly steady with improved availability. Supplies are expected to remain relatively steady through the month before transitioning North for the Summer.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production remains unstable especially Cellos with production areas transitioning . Continue to plan ahead to get full coverage. Radish quality ( tops) have been impacted as a result of the intermittent High wind events over the past month .
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine Romaine and Romaine Heart production has slowed due to Fluctuating temperatures causing irregular sizing , and substantial aphid pressure significantly restricting supplies and bringing the desert season to an abrupt end Production is expected to resume late next week in Northern California as growers will try to reach for any sort of production Green and Redleaf Demand has escalated as the lack of romaine supplies has steered sales towards leaf although aphid pressure has caught up to leaf lettuce as well also bringing an immediate end to the desert season with production not expected to be available until late next week at the earliest.
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Strong demand throughout the entire Citrus category due to strong retail sales and revived foodservice activity. The Lemon crop is improving with mostly Fancy grades and steady pricing with additional volume expected from Mexico. Favorable deals remain on larger sizes. Lime quality and supplies remain inconsistent. Navel production remains steady although The crop remains lighter than normal with good quality overall and heavier towards larger sizes. Mandarins remain moderately supplied as many growers transition into new varieties. Higher pricing is expected all season. Grapefruit supplies should be improving from Mexico and the Central Valley.
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