Full transition to the Salinas and Santa Maria Valley is almost complete. Weather has been mostly below normal temperature with above normal precipitation keeping supplies light to moderate matching demand. After a couple much needed warm days , Forecast calls for a return to cooler temps. Sporadic surging Retail demand continues while foodservice struggles. Customers and growers continue to adjust to new buying patterns. While growers battle heavy mildew pressure , quality should see improvements moving forward.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine  Strong demand continues especially on Romaine Hearts, although with transition behind us, and a bump in temperatures, supplies are expected to increase which likely push prices lower. Many shippers will continue to harvest to order which might affect daily availability but overall supplies will exceed demand.
Green leaf , Red leaf and Boston  have been limited due to cool weather and transition but supplies are expected to improve .
The market has not changed in over a month and it will not be any different for next week. Shippers are looking for business primarily in Oxnard and Santa Maria,CA. Please run any offers by us and let’s get some orders on the books. Quality is very nice, good green color and very little pith.
Heavy production continues with strong demand at retail especially as artichoke quality improves . Prices have remained competitive and offer good value. The superior edible Heirloom variety is currently available from multiple growers . Take advantage while supplies last .
Prices are starting to subside and look as though they will continue a downward spiral as the week comes to an end.   Overall quality has been nice, with clean white domes and nice green jackets, there is the occasional soft shoulder.
Prices are now on the decline, there is good availability and deals to be had. Product is readily available to ship out of both Santa Maria and Salinas,CA. Overall quality out of Santa Maria and Salinas has been fair, the late spring rains we have been receiving in both these areas will cause some light water spotting on the domes and with the sun out the last few days this quality issue will be minimal.
Brussels Sprouts
Mexico production is peaking and Sprouts have been in high demand. Supplies are expected to remain stable.
Green Onions
Mexico production has stalled from last week’s Easter Holiday labor disruption. Labor still hasn’t returned in full keeping supplies limited . Expect improvements heading into next week.  Quality remains variable, especially iceless packed during precipitation.
The Berry supply on the West Coast is fair at best which includes the new crop coming out of the Salinas / Watsonville areas. Rains over the weekend did not seem to disrupt much in the way of harvests coming into Monday and Tuesday. Cool-weather has kept the water-related issues at a minimum. Look for numbers to increase as we move into next week with clearer weather and slightly higher temperatures in the forecast. Look for the market to ease up as demand falls off slightly for the weekend. Limited numbers and fair quality out of Mexico.
Good supplies and promotable volumes are expected next week out of Mexico and Oxnard. Quality has been good
Blueberries are readily abundant out of several growing regions. Quality has been good and promotable volumes are expected through the end of April. Look for the market to trend downward as shippers struggle to move volume
Several shippers are in good supply with promotable volumes in Central Mexico and Central California. Quality has been good and the market will remain steady with lower undertones through this week.
Stone Fruit
Very little product currently available on either coast. We expect the California peach and nectarine season to start around the middle of next week. Expect light supplies, and pricing will be elevated during the first few weeks of production. Markets should start leveling out around mid May although weather and covid-related labor issues will likely be factored into the equation.
Red Grapes – Good volume on multiple varieties this week. With the last of the offshore product arriving, supplies have increased temporarily and deals are being made. Crimson and Sweet Celebrations are currently the most plentiful. Much of the product have gone into storage to fill the production gaps before the Mexican growing season. Quality is holding up for now, but we expect issues for the coming weeks on storage fruit.
Green Grapes — Supplies are becoming snug as fewer green grapes are arriving on both coasts. Shippers are more hesitant to keep product in storage for long periods of time so product is being moved quickly and inventories are low. There have been some reports of soft berry and shatter and those issues are not expected to improve until Mexico starts next month.
Oranges — Good movement on oranges this past week. Vitamin C being a priority for health conscious consumers, we are seeing more sales on the retail level. Pricing has not taken off, mostly due to less demand on the foodservice end. Quality is very nice; a trend we expect to continue as weather forecasts show good growing conditions through the remainder of the month.
Lemons — Production is now mostly district 1 California. Volumes are predominately mid sizing, and large sizes are heavier in production. Small lemons are lighter in supply, and markets are beginning to creep up on 140 count and smaller. Much better volume on choice lemons and shippers are looking to move product. Quality is very nice industry wide.
Limes — Supplies are steadily increasing from, last week. There were some gaps in supply as a result of lighter harvests in Mexico during Holy Week.
Supplies are now recovering . Quality remains very nice.
If it’s a Jumbo onion…nobody wants it. The great divide is upon us with food service being shut down. The chains are all pre-packs and mediums are also in big demand. Fortunately Vidalias are starting and there is generally good demand for those. Texas and Mexico are shipping, but there again, very little demand on Jumbos. Until foodservice comes back it’s going to be pretty dismal for jumbo onion shippers.
Lock and load. The California asparagus market is going to be expensive…the shippers hope. Grass has been so cheap this year that shoppers were treating it like lettuce, very easy to come by. Now, with Mexico over, the only game around is California. Washington will start in a week or so and slowly build in volume. Michigan and Indiana were preparing to start, but were held back because of weather conditions. If Michigan gets past the present cold spell and the snow stops, we’ll see fairly good volume and California will have to back off in pricing.
The retail promotions put little dent into the abundant supply of off shore cantaloupes, which until May or June are mostly a food service item and we all know that sector is all but completely shut down. At the same time, Mexico has dried and warmed and has started producing export volume. Sizes in both areas peaked on 9s then jbo 9s then some 12s and virtually nothing smaller. Add it up; increased supply; dull demand and you have an continued weak market. Off shore is a two tiered market with poorer quality trading 2.00-3.00 lower than better quality. Next week supplies should continue to be ample with offshore going full steam for at least two more weeks and Mexican production continuing to rise. Demand will not change in light of the continued social distancing protocols. Domestic lopes should start the first week in May and pick up steam by mid may. Outlook is not rosy for cantaloupes in the near future.
Just repeat above and sub the word honeydews for cantaloupes and you have your report. Sizes also running large peaking on 5s then jbo 5s with some 6s and virtually nothing smaller. Two tiered markets due to quality in both Mexico and the Caribbean. Domestic dews will be starting around mid May. Yawner markets to continue.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli    Production has mostly transitioned to the Northern part of the state and supplies remain limited but improvements are expected heading into next week. Expect prices to edge lower.  Quality remains nice and demand remains strong
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Demand continues to intermittently surge along with supplies.  We expect both to settle next week with improved availability ad pricing
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady and demand is spiking as retailers are stocking shelves with hearty , sustainable, grab and go commodities. Continue to plan even further ahead to get partial coverage.
Potato and Onions  Demand continues to be strong while storage supplies are dwindling. New crop production will be available in coming weeks from the CA/AZ desert.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Demand for Romaine Hearts initially spiked but has since settled. Hearts remain a solid retail value while Green , Red Romaine have struggled with increased mildew pressure. Quality should see weekly improvements
OG Citrus
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Production continues to be strong as well as demand.  Rain has delayed some harvest and has pushed sizing profiles to larger fruit on all citrus .
OG Grapes
California:   Availability on both coasts although demand continues to struggle even at retail mostly due to packaging and overall quality as most grapes , especially green varieties come from storage. Improved quality isn’t expected until new crop production begins later next month .
OG Asparagus
Mexico:  Production is transitioning to new, smaller areas in Mexico with improved quality although some issues will continue to exist.
California: California harvest continues with slightly improved but limited production. Significantly tiered pricing vs product of Mexico remains and should continue to be strong until regional homegrown production begins in coming weeks.

Leave a Reply