Mostly steady production , demand and pricing with little excitement. Quality overall is good although tiered as some growers reach for product while others work from behind schedule. Labor shortages seem to be weighing on the market, whether harvest , transportation or warehouse. Cool Spring weather continues to keep supplies moderated although a couple of warm days followed by more mild temperatures is forecasted.
Las Cruces, NM  production will begin production this week with excellent quality and freight rates expected to provide Substantial savings. Inquire with your Produce West representative.
Leaf Lettuce
Romaine and Romaine Hearts  Romaine supplies remain heavy with moderate Demand on cartons but Slightly better on Hearts. Diminished labor force continues to hamper Romaine Heart production at times leaving plenty of carton supplies available. Quality remains mostly nice from all areas.
Las Cruces, NM production is expected to start next week with top quality and substantial savings on freight.
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston –  Demand on Leaf has followed Romaine. Quality remains nice from Northern production areas.
No change here, even with some shippers in Oxnard and Santa Maria walking past product due to seeders the market continues to sit at the bottom. Majority of production is out of Santa Maria and Oxnard. Overall quality is good, weights averaging in the mid 50 lb range and good green color.
Thornless varieties from Central Coast production areas are peaking on large sizes with higher prices on smaller sizes, especially Heirloom and Original varieties. Markets should continue steady through April when sizing should even out. Take advantage of these superior edible varieties .
We have seen an uptick in demand and prices as well. Short cut crowns are having better movement and prices have increased by $2.00 or so over the last few days. It does not look like we will see much more of an increase in FOB’s this week. Quality is good shipping out of both Santa Maria and Salinas. The slight purple color that has been an issue over the last few weeks is beginning to disappear as we get out of the first fields that grew during the winter months.
Demand remains strong as we wait for the plants to start producing some better sizing. There is plenty of cauliflower out there and as we go into some warmer weather starting tomorrow in both the Salinas and Santa Maria areas we should start to see an increase in production. Prices will start to level off and we could even see slightly lower FOB’s early next week.
Brussels Sprouts
Production from Mexico has peaked while demand surged for Spring promotions . Quality has been mostly very nice from Mexico with minor insect pressure while limited domestic production has shown improvement.
Green Onions
Mexico production has resumed full capacity with most product loading Now from the Central Coast.  Quality has shown improvement as growers finally get back on schedule.
Strawberries continue to be extremely tight, expected to continue through Mother’s Day. Lightness of supply is being caused by cooler weather patterns over the last few weeks, against heavy demand. We expect volume to increase over the coming weeks. Central Mexicocon
Supplies remain light, due to previous cold weather working through the Mexican harvest. Pest pressure out of Central Mexico is also complicating at time of harvest conditions. California will ramp up production by mid-to-late May, easing the shortage. Quality has been good.
the majority of volume continues to come from Central Mexico. Supplies remain light, due to previous cold weather working through the Mexican harvest. California will ramp up production by mid-to-late May, easing the shortage. Quality is good.
Florida and Georgia are still light on production due to rain and hail, and Mexico will have a small decrease into May.. California is expected to have better volume by the second week of May. Pricing remains high.
Stone Fruit
Imported plums are still available in very light supply for the next 2 weeks. Yellow peaches and nectarines have started in California. Sizing is mostly 64 count and smaller. Large sizing is mostly going into tray pack. Small sizes are available in mostly volume fill. Apricots will start next week and California plums will start towards the end of May. This week’s stone fruit harvest in the Central Valley was delayed by light rains and crews are waiting for product to dry out. Better volumes on domestic stone fruit are expected as early as next week.
Import green seedless grapes are mostly finished for the season. Expect this production gap to continue for the next 3 weeks on green grapes. There are plenty of red seedless available for the next 5 weeks on both coasts. Quality has improved, although still some issues with shatter and brown stem. Mexico and Coachella will not have any volume until May 24th on red and we should have decent volume of greens by the middle of May.
Oranges – Stronger markets this week on most sizes, especially 88 count and smaller. We expect this market to continue strengthening until valencias start. Quality has still been very nice with very few issues to report.
Lemons – Good supplies on choice and fancy lemons. Good supplies coming out of district 1. Product has been mostly fancy grade, with some of the product going into choice boxes.
Off shore supplies are dwindling a bit but there are still ample amounts of jbo 9.9 and 12 with some 15s. Most are still being sent to Florida POWs, where demand is better with California POEs getting some and with less demand. Quality has been consistent and generally good. Demand has been rather tepid all year except during times of heavy promotions which do not appear to be on tap for next week. Nogales has started and supplies there are increasing. Demand for Mexican lopes is always slower as a seemingly undying legacy of one of the first food born bacteria in produce. Sizes there are peaking on 9s and 12s.  Domestic melons are approaching but start dates keep getting pushed back. At this time there may be a few the second week of May but most production will not start until the third week in May or the first of June; not in time for Memorial Day. Next week the trend of fair on possibly dwindling supplies off shore and increasing supplies in Nogales should continue keeping offshore prices firm and Mexico prices in discount and dealing mode for volume.
Dews have followed the same story line as cantaloupes but about a week ahead. Offshore supplies have dwindled keeping prices from there quite firm. After a long delay, new district Mexican production has increased. Overall demand is tepid so the entire pricing structure has been and will continue to be supply driven. Size in both areas are peaking on 5s and 6s with jbo 5s mostly offshore. Demand does not look to be improving next week. Overall we see offshore pricing remaining steady and firm with some discounting and previous commitments lower, and Mexico prices continuing to adjust downward or discounting.
Dry Onions
Here we go! California is going on Onions and truck are not. There is tremendous competition for flat beds due to the back of at the LA dock. Tariffs or no Tariffs, it doesn’t seem to matter. The goods need to be off loaded and sent on a truck. Texas is winding down and New Mexico won’t start until June first. Northwest wise, we are seeing product available but the hollowed food service is not looking for old product. Once the Northwest pulls the plug, we should see an up tick in demand on western onions.
Obregon, Constitutional are shipping now with the bulk being in Obregon at
this point. Look for the market to switch to 11/1’s and somewhat higher prices.
California is shipping with product being quoted in the low $50’s on 28/1’s.
There should be some ad demand coming for the Mother’s Day pull, but so far
there’s not too much interest. California is still a large factor on the west
Coast…Indiana and Michigan will have started by this time next week if it
doesn’t snow or have freezing rain. Mexico will continue to be the volume deal until Peru starts.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli   Cooler temperatures have kept supplies moderated matching demand on Broccoli while Cauliflower supplies continue to sputter pushing prices higher. Quality has been good to start the Central coast season although recent increase in insect pressure has been evident. . After a few warm days , cool mild weather should return to provide perfect conditions for quality .
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Availability and pricing appear to be mostly steady with steady demand. Quality remains good from the Northern production areas.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady and demand continues to be strong. Most growers have been reaching for supplies . Continue to plan ahead to get full coverage.
Potato and Onions  Markets continue to be strong as well as demand for retail packs. New crop Production has begun from Southern California production areas with prices expected to moderate over the coming weeks
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Currently prices on Romaine and Hearts remain a value with mostly ideal weather to start the season . Slightly warmer temperatures the next few days before cool, mild temperatures return next week are expected.  Green and Redleaf  supplies remain affordable as well. Overall quality has been good during the transition North.
OG Citrus
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Good demand throughout the entire Citrus category due to strong retail sales and revived foodservice activity. California lemon crop continues steady with slightly lighter volumes and escalated prices. Mexico is expected to resume later next month.  Lime quality has shown improvements but remains inconsistent as well as supplies, The Navel crop has begun to slow as Valencia’s from Mexico begin to expand availability. Seasonal Variety offerings will begin to slow as we enter May. Grapefruit supplies have steadied with improved sizing.
OG Peppers
California / Mexico :  Green Bell Pepper transition to California remains delayed due to relatively cool Spring temperatures . Colored Bells have begun the same scenario as the Mexico season winds down.
OG Grapes
Green & Red :  Supplies currently remain mostly from storage Imports through early May with varied Quality. We expect Domestic season to start slightly late but supplies are expected to improve quickly with excellent quality forecasted to promote all Summer.
OG Brussels Sprout
Mexico :  Increasing insect pressure in Mexico has slowed production Prices remain stable but supplies limited

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