Weather has returned to normal for most of California as growers assess damage caused by last week’s heat wave and wildfires. For the most part lettuce acres weren’t affected other than some fringe burn and sun scald along with Ash spread from the nearby Wildfires . Labor became scarce as growers limited harvest hours to keep workers exposure to the smoke minimized. Demand remains steady while growers catch up on harvested acres . Most shippers remain flexible on price especially for volume. Somehow quality is still holding up although issues can be seen with fringe , tip or internal burn varied throughout the valley.
Romaine Demand for carton and hearts remain good although not as strong as prior weeks. Supplies have improved as growers catch up from last week’s delays. Tiered pricing has widened especially on hearts as some growers trim down their Romaine to remove any Ash that settled in the heart. Quality continues to vary industry-wide. The recent heat wave has caused an increase in fringe burn, sun scald and wilting . Although trimmable in the field, expect increased internal burn and decay as smoke from the local fires created overcast and humid conditions. Reduced plantings continue for most growers through September.
Red leaf, Green leaf and Boston plantings were negatively impacted by the heat and have shown signs of tip burn and wilt. This has led to tighter supplies and higher prices. Expect this condition to continue through next week .
Good supplies of celery continue to ship out of both Santa Maria and Salinas. Quality reports in the Santa Maria and Salinas growing districts show overall good quality with some light color stalks and insect pressure due to excessive heat last week. Shippers are looking to move on all sizes. Run your offers by us.
Production of the thornless varieties continue with sizing profile reduced to mostly medium and small sizes for the balance of the summer. We don’t expect any significant volume on larger sizes until the Fall .
Market is at the bottom and shippers are looking to make deals to move products. Looking at the product yesterday we are seeing some light yellow cast and a knuckle curd on the domes. Prices are down and dirty so run your offers by us.
Supplies are somewhat limited to what they were the last few weeks. Harvest yields this week are lighter than normal. Domes are showing some brown beads due to the excessive heat we experienced last week. Growers are having to be very selective in the field thus walking past more product than they would like to. Look for prices to remain somewhat firm going into next week. Supplies out of Mexico are limited and prices have firmed up as well.
Coastal California supplies continue to improve with a mix of quality and sizing as pricing becomes competitive. Production is expected to continue to improve as growers hand pick their early season crop before transitioning to mechanical harvest early next month.
Mexico growers continue their reduced summer acres which offset increasingly hot temperatures in Mexico and local eastern production this time of year. We expect the market to remain steady on moderate supplies and sizing.
After several days of high temperatures, lightning, and fires around the production areas, we expect volumes to decrease this week. Temperatures have cooled, allowing the plant to rest. We will continue to monitor fruit quality. Organic strawberries are similar to conventional, the high temperatures affected some ranches, however, in comparison to conventional ranches, most of the acreage is located in an area where temperatures don’t get too hot due to the coastal proximity. Although volumes will continue to decrease, we expect the decline to be less significant.
The up trend continues as expected, but stronger than previously projected due to a heat event that materialized over the week, which has accelerated the ripening process. We’ve increased the forecast through early September to represent the shift in volume timing as a result of this heat event. There is some softer fruit because of the warm weather in the area coming out of the heat event. Growers are working on culling fruit where necessary. Santa Maria has reported good overall quality.
Peruvian volumes will begin this week and will continue through year end. Mexico began their season last week with light and increasing volumes over the next 2-3 weeks. Baja volumes will continue with light production until the fall.
Supply production is higher this week driven by residual effects from the heat wave. The hot temperatures from last Friday through the early part of this week is accelerating the ripening process leading to more supply. We believe this will be a short-lived effect and supplies will begin down-trending through the end of August from all regions.
Peach supplies are tightening up this week and will remain light for the next two weeks until the production season finishes. Demand is strong and sizing is mostly large. Small sized peaches are much lighter in supply. Good supplies of nectarines this week. Supplies are expected to be heavy on nectarines for the next 3 weeks and then will quickly taper off. Quality is holding up overall, although some soft fruit has recently been reported. Good supplies on large red and black plums and limited volume on smaller sizes. Quality has been very nice.
Red grape volumes are still strong. Flame varieties are finishing up , making way for scarlet royals next week. Quality has been good despite recent heatwaves and product is holding up nicely at the store level. Green grapes are currently available in multiple varieties and volumes are improving as well. Quality is very nice on greens, and competitive pricing overall. Shippers are looking to promote on reds and greens through October so don’t hesitate to run opportunities by us.
Oranges -Stronger markets this week. Many growers have finished production for the season in the central valley, which is lightening supplies. Many school districts have been opening back up throughout the country. USDA food box programs continue to gobble up supplies. Quality has been good overall, although some greening and scuffing has been reported. Expect light volumes and and high pricing for the next two months.
Lemons – More deals available on most sizes as USA, Argentina, Chile and Mexico are all producing and supplies will be plentiful for the coming weeks. Quality has been strong overall. Expect good volumes through September.
After weeks of steady prices with discounting, the cantaloupe market finally got better. Ironically it was because of extreme heat in Central Valley last week and the effects of smoke from fires slowing down harvesters. Sizes also started to run smaller, with production peaks changing from jbo 9s and 9s to regular 9s and 12s with even some 15s and a few 18s. Prices firmed accordingly with higher quotes and less discounting on jbo and regular 9s. 12s were steady and 15s and 18s being discounted. Quality overall has remained good all season. Demand was still on the dull side with food service still operating at lower levels due to COVID protocols. Prices also were being held in check due to high freight rates. Next week with weather moderating we should see a more normal production flow. Demand should not change much as there does not seem to be any robust promotion inquiry. We look for a steady to slightly lower market next week.
Alas poor honeydews cannot seem to get any market respect this year. Production was a bit lower as extreme heat and fire related smoke interfered with production. Demand just can’t seem to get any more robust than its anemic pace. Quality is generally good with mostly excellent brix. Sizes skewed a bit smaller with less jbo 5s and more regular 5s and 6s. There were even some 8s and a few 9s. Next week does not look to be much different. Moderating temps should increase production a bit and skew sizing larger again. We look for a dull and steady market next week with more discounting.
Mixed melons are winding down for the year. Sizes still are peaking on 6s and 6s but varietal choices are getting more limited. Prices have not changed, and are not expected to next week. Check daily for what is available.
California is cleaned up for the most part, and overall it was a fairly good market. The New Mexico Onions deal stayed really competitive with California all season long, and because of the quality and freight advantage were able to take a lot of the business away from California this year. Usually, in the
past, the weather in New Mexico has had an impact on the availability, impacting the quality…not this year. Northwest…The Treasure Valley onion deal is off and running shipping from all areas. Prices are all over everywhere. Washington in the $5-$6 area and Treasure Valley in the 6-7 range. Ida-Ore was fighting size earlier in the deal but now has moved into being able to offer Colossal sizing. As the summer winds down and they start to go to storage the pricing will start to become more stable.
Mexico is shipping out of Baja Mexico and starting to scratch around in San Miguel. Peru is getting bigger volume and they are in really good quality. Demand this time of year is fair and prices are fluctuating between the low 20’s to the mid to high 20’s. As the summer winds down, we will start to see more chain ad requests which will make the market raise as more is taken off the spot market.
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli The market remains mostly steady with some buying opportunities especially Cauliflower where supplies continue to be plentiful. This could change quickly with recent weather events. Quality remains mostly good but growers will battle the effects of the recent heatwave in California which will lead to increased insect pressure and discoloration to the heads. Broccoli supplies have begun to tighten and prices are escalating.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Availability and pricing appear to be mostly steady with Local Homegrown production adding to overall supplies.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady and demand continues to spike as carrots offer a great grab and go option as well as being a staple commodity in the USDA Farm to Family Food Program. Continue to plan even further ahead to get partial coverage. Carrots mostly come from Central Valley of California which fires should not affect although hot weather will likely impact the tops of the bunched carrots
Potato and Onions Markets continue to be strong as well as demand for retail packs. The USDA Food Box Program continues to be the driving force. High temperatures earlier this summer have impacted quality and have led to a premature end to the California potato crop with transition to the Northwest expected to be delayed. We expect shortages and advancing prices through early September.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine Demand for Romaine remains strong especially Hearts with lighter supplies due to last week’s heatwave, reduced acres and increased insect pressure . Green and Red quality has suffered more so than Romaine with production lighter although demand remains mild for now. Expect to see some visible ash for local wildfires .
Lemons, Oranges, Limes and Grapefruit Demand continues to be strong throughout the Citrus category due to retail sales and Food Box programs . California lemon crop has finished up as supplies from Mexico have begun to improve as well as some offshore production. Pricing has eased on Lemons although continues to be strong on the rest of the Citrus category. All retail sizes are in high demand. Many shippers have shifted production exclusively to bags on All Citrus. Lime quality remains inconsistent and Hot weather followed by rain has significantly impacted harvest. Expect shortages for a few more weeks. Valencias sizing profile has been leaning toward the smaller sizes which has benefitted increased demand for bags at retail
California: Central Valley production remains strong with moderate demand. We expect excellent flavor, quality and size to last through the summer with promotional volume available. Off sizes and reduced quality grapes continue to be available at discounted prices.
California: Cantaloupes and Honeydew production surged last week but growers are assessing damage on the younger plantings that will likely lead to reduced production for the next couple weeks especially mini Watermelon varieties.