3/19/20

Lettuce
Hope this Newsletter finds everyone safe and healthy . Multiple factors have been influencing the produce markets as well as our daily lives. Weather initially started the tightening of supplies as a forecast for showers turned into significant rain storms last week as showers continue to interrupt harvest as well as the unprecedented response to the COVID-19 virus. Everyone has seen the stories as consumers barrage the retail stores creating hysteria while leaving the Foodservice sector deserted. Combined these factors are leading to binge buying in the produce aisles as Growers and Shippers try to keep up with the overall demand. Weather and plausible government restrictions continue to weigh on the industry. This is leading to significant spike in prices across all commodities especially retail packaged items including Cello Lettuce .  Keep in mind quality remains fair during and after rains which will lead to increased mildew pressure and red ribs. Transition to Northern California production areas will commence this week although weather will impact supplies there as well. There shouldn’t be any shortages for normal demand but NOTHING is normal currently.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine  See above .
Green leaf , Red leaf and Boston  see above
Celery
Demand has picked up over the last few days and prices are reflecting that. An increase in demand from the retail side and the fact that the Desert growing regions of the Imperial Valley and Yuma are finishing up with lighter supplies has helped jump start this market. Expect prices to remain at current levels for the remainder of this month until Santa Maria and Oxnard,CA increase their harvest.
Artichokes
Heavy production continues with strong demand at retail especially as artichoke quality improves and retailers reach for items to fill their shelves .
Cauliflower
Demand is steadily keeping in step with daily harvest estimates. Like broccoli we are currently in a supply gap in the desert growing regions. Prices will continue to trade at current levels into the middle of next week. Overall quality has been nice, with clean white domes and nice green jackets. There are a few shippers out of the Salinas Valley that have started harvest and their harvest estimates should start to increase early next week.
Broccoli
The market has picked up this week due to a supply gap in California and Arizona along with lighter volume being imported from Mexico. Look for prices to remain at the current trading levels for the remainder of the week.  A few Salinas shippers have started harvest with volume expected to pick up next week. We continue to ship our Shui Ling Crowns out of Mexico loading in Pharr, TX. Quality has been very nice and we appreciate the business you have given us. Our volume will be lighter out of Mexico as we finish out the season over the next 2 weeks.
Brussels Sprouts
Mexico production is peaking and Sprouts will be in high demand for Easter promotions. Current retail frenzy as Brussels Sprouts offer a hearty , storable option.  Pricing has spiked with strong demand expected to continue especially on retail packs.
Green Onions
Mexico production slowed as a result of weather over the Monday holiday, but should rebound quickly with strong retail demand expected to push prices significantly higher.
Strawberries
Light supplies in all areas. The Santa Maria and Oxnard areas are experiencing intermittent rain events and much cooler than normal weather, which is lowering yields and affecting quality. We expect to remain light through the end of this week and into the next as shippers work through rain issues. Look for the market to remain firm. Mexico is also experiencing cooler weather accompanied by rain. Foodservice business sector is down as a result of several corona virus-related closures to schools, hospitals, airlines, and other related markets. This is more than being offset with the recent retail surge phenomena also related to the national virus pandemic. Florida is still producing decent numbers of berries, although we expect this season to end any day now due to increasing heat in the area.
Raspberries
With the extra demand for fruit raspberries remain tight. Oxnard has some fresh arrivals all week from Mexico. We will be in our peak volumes over the next couple of weeks which should help quench increased demand. Quality has been good out of Central Mexico. Markets will remain firm through next week.
Blueberries
The Blues continue to be lighter in numbers coming out of Central Mexico, Georgia, and Florida. Production is expected to increase but is being offset by heavy demand. Chilean imports are still arriving sporadically on both east and west coast ports. Quality on fresh product has been good. Prices will remain strong into next week.
Blackberries
Blackberries will be scare into next week. Quality has been good out of Central Mexico and Santa Maria. Look for markets to remain firm into next week while this item enjoys heavy retail demand.
Stone Fruit
The import stone fruit season is slowing down and supplies are diminishing quickly. White peaches and nectarines are finished for the season. Yellow peaches and nectarines are lighter in volume, especially on smaller sizes. Red and black plums are also lighter in volume this week and volumes will continue to decrease over the next two weeks. Offshore yellow nectarines and peaches will finish by the end of this month, and plums will finish soon after. Domestic production is not expected to begin until late April , so we will certainly experience supply gaps next month on most stone fruit.
Grapes
Red — We are nearing the end of the import season on grapes. We expect storage fruit to last into the middle part of April. Quality has been very nice, although be aware of arrival dates and how long the product has been in storage. Supplies should easily carry into the Mexican growing season, although early reports of Mexican fruit have been lighter volumes, so we expect higher pricing during transition.
Green — Supplies are lighter this week on green grapes. Much of the product is going directly into storage, anticipating supply gaps over the coming weeks. Mexican production will start out in light numbers, and gradually increase over the latter half of April. Quality has been strong overall, although more quality issues are expected the longer the product remains in storage.
Citrus
Oranges — Stronger markets expected in the coming weeks as demand increases on oranges. High retail demand this week as more people look to stay healthy with vitamin C rich items. Rain in the central valley has slowed production, and labor shortages are creating some supply gaps. We expect markets to continue trending upwards at this point.
Lemons — Higher demand this week and diminishing supplies are strengthening markets. Like, oranges, we are seeing more consumers gravitate towards vitamin C rich products as they stock up on food supplies. Current rains and labor shortages have also hampered production. Small sizes are cleaning up, resulting in higher pricing. Quality has been holding strong for now, although we could see some issues in the coming weeks if the rains continue.
Limes — Tighter supplies this week, especially on smaller sizes. Rain in growing regions, as well as slower border crossings have contributed in lighter volumes. We expect this market to continue strengthening through the rest of the month. Quality remains very nice.
Honeydews
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli    Production has begun to transition to the Northern part of the state and supplies have been limited . Additionally retail demand has pushed prices significantly higher with no signs of easing.  Quality remains nice and demand is off the charts
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
See Above as retail demand spikes .
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady and Demand is spiking as Retailers are stocking shelves with hearty , sustainable commodities. Continue to plan even further ahead to get partial coverage.
Potato and Onions  Supplies shortages are expected with spiking retail demand .
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Demand for Romaine Hearts is spiking rapidly as retailers search for sustainable items to fill shelves.
OG Citrus
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Production continues to be strong although demand continues to outpace current supplies as retailers look to stock shelves. Expect an early end to the season as Growers push production to meet unexpected and robust demand.
OG Grapes
California: Central Valley of California harvest have finished with some storage fruit available.  Offshore fruit is available on either coast.
OG Asparagus
Mexico:  Production continues to surge even with some holiday and weather delays. Expect demand to completely flip and the market to spike significantly higher as ( say it with me) Retail demand surges especially with strong traditional Easter promotions on deck.
California: Coastal California harvest has begun although low pricing on Mexican product has lead to a delay in volume. Expect significantly tiered pricing vs product of Mexico especially as quality diminishes at the end of the month but in the meantime take advantage of promotional supplies.

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