Steady supplies with mild demand continue to result in sluggish markets. Even with a cool, mild Spring and now Summer, exorbitant freight rates, rising fuel costs, and lack of sufficient labor force continue to weigh on the entire produce industry. Quality remains overall good although tiered as some growers fall behind schedule while most continue to cut to order and “jump” harvest to avoid over-mature lettuce while trying to maintain bottom line pricing. Mostly cool weather has kept supplies moderated with only a couple warm days so far this Spring.
Las Cruces, NM production continues with excellent quality and substantial freight savings to begin the week.. Inquire with your Produce West representative.
Romaine and Romaine Hearts Romaine supplies remain heavy with moderate Demand . 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 continues from Las Cruces with good reviews. on quality and substantial savings on freight.
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston Demand on Leaf continues to be sluggish as Eastern local production begins . Quality remains nice from all production areas with increased mildew pressure expected after a cool Foggy week.
Pricing tried to move up a little at the beginning of the week and then halted and even a few shippers have come back down slightly. The Oxnard district is finding more seeders in their crops as the season begins to come to an end in that region. This will decrease their yields as the month winds down. Santa Maria is in full production and seeder free at this point and Salinas will start harvest the first week of June.
Heirloom and Original varieties from Central Coast production areas are now peaking on medium sizes.. Markets have eased slightly with availability expected for a couple more weeks in the season. Take advantage of these superior edible varieties before the season ends. Thornless varieties remain available with mostly larger sizes.
Make your offers, plenty of availability and shippers are looking to move product. Good availability in Santa Maria and Salinas. It seems there is a little more availability out of Mexico. Off and on rains have hampered harvest slightly in Mexico but the markets are still at or near the bottom.
Plenty of cauliflower available. Make offers as shippers are looking to move product.
Production from Mexico has started to ease while Northern California production areas remain limited for the next month. Prices have firmed but demand remains steady. Quality has been mostly very nice from Mexico with minor insect pressure while limited domestic production has shown improvement.
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.
Time to write your promotional Ads for June. There is a lull in demand before the Memorial holiday. Santa Maria and Salinas/Watsonville, California growing areas have product available. Most Oxnard shippers are finished for the season or going to the freezer with their product. Santa Maria, California is forecast for sunny skies and breezy in the afternoon, becoming partly cloudy Friday through the weekend. Highs are forecast in the 60s and lows in the 40s. Salinas/Watsonville, California is forecast to be partly sunny, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. Santa Maria, California fruit has occasional bruising, white shoulders, misshapen, seedy tips, and dry or discolored calyx and discoloration caused by wind damage. Average counts are 14 to 16, occasionally higher and lower.
Continued supply/production issues out of Mexico and demand will continue to exceed supply through May.
Supplies/production continue to decline as we near the end of the general Mexico season in early June. Demand was a bit lighter last week and will continue into this week.
Georgia fruit is coming in strong, while market price is declining! Volume hitting! PEAK VOLUMES- PROMOTIONAL OPPORTUNITIES!
California stone fruit production will steadily increase this week as the valley harvest numbers grow. Even with production increasing there’s heavy demand and orders could still be allocated. Apricot production has improved this week with a good range of sizes. Yellow peach production is picking up in the central valley. Sizing is currently peaking on a 56. 64’s and smaller are now available in volume fill. Yellow Nectarine production will remain steady but light for the next two weeks. Peak sizing will be in the 72’s and 64’s. Larger fruit will be limited. Red and black plums will start towards the end of next week.
Imported Chilean and Peruvian red grapes are winding down quickly. Greens are currently in a gap and we are now in a demand exceeds supply scenario with reds. Mexico and Coachella are off to a slow start and we will be ‘demand exceeds’ for at least another 2 weeks. By the first week of June we should see better supplies on domestic fruit, which will likely help to ease demand. Early quality reports on the Coachella fruit is positive and good quality red and greens are expected for the first half of the summer season.
Oranges – Stronger markets this week as inventory diminishes. Valencia oranges have started, although supplies are still light. Sizes are peaking on 56 and 72 count fruit. Light supplies will likely continue into the coming weeks. Navels are still the best option as quality has been holding up well. Sizing is mostly large on navels and small sizes are less available.
Lemons – Stronger markets this week on lemons. Steady supplies continue out of districts 1 and 2, mostly fancy fruit. As temperatures rise we are seeing more quality issues. Markets will continue to strengthen as southern growing regions finish for the season.
Limes – Tight supplies this week on most sizes, especially large limes. Rain in Mexican growing areas, mixed with an uptick in demand has caused markets to hold at currently levels. Some quality defects include blanching and scarring.
As offshores come to an end, domestics are kicking in albeit at a much slower pace. Supplies therefore should be diminishing overall but slowly and incrementally increasing in the CA AZ desert. Mexico continues to ship. Overall quality is okay, but the offshore are getting a bit tired and Mexico always seems to carry the legacy stigma of the decades old bacterial outbreak. Domestic supplies are running mostly reg 9 and 12 count with few jbo 9s which are already contractually committed, and few 15s which are being heavily discounted. The bulk of the demand has been mostly contracted at lower than spot market prices. Truck and truck rates have become tight and prohibitive effecting demand. Next week domestic production should pick up with more shippers starting their harvest. The volume will be too late for Memorial day ads. By the first week in June full domestic production will be in force and prices should plunge, especially if trucks remain at tight and high priced as they currently are.
Little has changed here but that could be different in the weeks ahead. Offshore are all but over. Mexico continues to ship at lower prices. Domestics should start to kick in but like the cantaloupes in a very small way at first followed by incremental volume increases on a schedule about a week being cantaloupes. Current supplies are mostly pre committed but not to the degree as cantaloupes. Overall quality is okay. Brix are variable. Sizes peaking on 5s and 6s. with few larger and 8s being heavily discounted. We see a steady market next week, followed by a gradual decline the following week and perhaps a precipitous decline by the second week in June.
With the exception of Galias, nothing is expected before mid-June at the earliest.
If I only had a truck!!! This is the time when Onion shippers have to subsidize transportation. The delivered market in Chicago is $12…$6 for the shipper and $6 for the truck. Soon, if trucks don’t start to show up and become more plentiful, it will be $5 for the shipper and $7 for the tuck. The jobbing market
doesn’t seem to be changing until food service gets on its feet. The next big problem is labor. There have been a lot of drivers that went bankrupt during Covid and are now driving for Walmart or Amazon from DC to DC. Until it become very enticing to get these guys back on the long-haul configuration we will be paying more for this vital commodity.
Washington, New Jersey, Canada, Indiana, and of course Michigan to name the states that are production. Of course, we have Mexico and Peru going too. What can possibly go wrong in this scenario? At least these growing are requiring less freight to get to the consumers. Prices, of course are all over the board, so there will need to be some feature ad pricing to move this kind of volume.
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli Cooler temperatures have kept supplies moderated matching demand on Broccoli and Cauliflower. Quality has been good to start the Central coast season with mostly ideal growing conditions.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Availability and pricing appear to be mostly steady with steady demand. Quality remains good from the Northern production areas with an occasional sporadic shortage among growers.
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 . 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 Green and Red leaf supplies remain affordable as well. Overall quality has been good from Northern California production areas.
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Good demand throughout the entire Citrus category due to strong retail sales and revived foodservice activity. California lemon crop is tightening with limited domestic production. Mexico is expected to resume later this month. Lime quality has shown improvement but remains inconsistent as well as supplies, The Navel crop is winding down as Valencia’s from Mexico begin to expand availability. Seasonal Variety offerings are winding down. Grapefruit supplies have steadied with improved sizing.
California / Mexico : . Organic Watermelon , Mini’s , Cantaloupe , Honeydews and Galias are winding down in Mexico and remain slightly behind schedule in the Desert but volume will ramp up quickly in time for Memorial Day. Quality is expected to be excellent through the Summer
OG Stone Fruit
California : Stone fruit season has started with improving supplies with relatively cooler than normal temperatures delaying the start. Apricot , Nectarines and Peaches are all available with Plums expected in coming weeks. Initial sizing has started on the small side but should improve as the weather warms.
Green & Red : Supplies currently remain mostly from storage Imports through mid 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.