Temperatures raged over the weekend causing quality issues to worsen. The obvious fringe and tip burn along with burst heads and twisting cores have already affected available supplies resulting in a tighter market and higher prices. Demand remains moderate but as long as quality continues to adversely affect yields expect prices to firm. Temperatures are forecast to moderate but the damage is done.
Romaine Demand for carton and heart romaine continues to excel combined with the stress from the recent heatwave. Supplies have tightened even further, pushing prices higher. Most growers were anticipating better supplies, but reduced quality will have the reverse effect. Fringe and tip burn along with twisting , high core and increased insect pressure will require additional trimming at field level. Tiered pricing has given way to more blanket pricing . Reduced plantings continue for most growers through September keeping pressure on markets to maintain elevate capacity
Red leaf, green leaf and boston plantings were negatively impacted by the heat and have shown signs of tipburn and wilt. Prices have ranged depending on the severity of damage among growers.
Supplies of celery are plentiful with promotable volume available. Quality reports show overall good quality with very occasional signs of heat damage in the form of some yellow leaves and light color stalks. Salinas and Santa Maria are currently the primary shipping points for celery on the west coast. Please run your offers by us.
Production of the thornless varieties has been hampered by successive high temperature events resulting in reduced quality and sizing. We don’t expect any significant volume on larger sizes until the fall .
Prices have stabilized but do not look like they will increase any higher. Finding a good quality product that can make the ride east has been a challenge over the last few days. Due to the high temps we had over the weekend it has definitely affected the shelf life. Product looks fairly good at time of shipping but arrives 3-4 days later with heavy yellow cast and some spotting, especially on 9 size. Buy conservatively and expect to find some quality defects upon arrival.
Supplies remain to be somewhat limited although we should start to see a little more volume hit the markets by the end of the week. We are still seeing some brown beads on the domes from heat distress but it is slowly cleaning up. Look for prices to remain steady for the remainder of this week and then start to gradually decline starting early 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. Current Supplies were unaffected by the high temperatures over the weekend but expect younger plants to show signs towards the end of the month.
Mexico growers continue their reduced summer acres which offset increasingly Hot temperatures in Mexico and local Eastern production this time of year. Pricing has advanced as supplies have temporarily slowed due to high temperatures affecting yields
The two tiered markets remains in effect, but there will be some signs of heat damage that occurred over the labor day weekend. Oxnard continues to ship in a very light way. They are estimated to ship 22,000 boxes this week. In comparison, Santa maria is trending toward 900,000 cartons, while the Salinas / Watsonville area is forecasted for 1,750,000 boxes this week. As we get closer to the end of the month, expect numbers to begin a slow decline.
Supplies have reached their summer peak and volume will gradually decline week over week for the remainder of the month. Central Mexico will begin to increase volume towards the end of September.
Blueberries will continue to ramp up through year end. Peruvians, Baja, and Mexico regions will carry the majority of volume going forward.
Higher temperatures continue to wreak havoc on blackberries. Damaged fruit has to be discarded at the field level. The market will remain ‘demand exceeds’ into next week. Mexico will be harvesting better numbers the first week of October.
Peach supplies are extremely light this week as the season comes to an end. This is the last week of production and we are experiencing heavy demand as a result. Small sizes are especially hard to find. Quality is beginning to suffer due to the recent heatwave in the central valley. Nectarine production will be finished by this weekend and most shippers are now sold out for the season. Black plum supplies are lighter this week, although there will likely be better supplies next week. Red plum supplies are keeping up with demand, although supplies on small sizes are starting to tighten. Plums should still be available through October.
The red grape market has slowly been trending up this week. Recent heatwaves in California have affected production and quality. Despite this, supplies are still strong and shippers are looking to move product. Quality is holding up , although we could see some heat damage at the store level.
Green grape markets are strengthening as overall demand improves. Quality has been affected by the recent heatwave and shelf life will likely suffer as a result. Currently , there is good availability on greens and shippers are looking to move product.
Oranges – Strong markets continue this week on all sizes. Demand has significantly increased as schools and restaurants slowly re-open. Chilean production is slow to start, creating more supply gaps. Chilean production is expected to be lighter this year, and these elevated markets will likely continue indefinitely. High heat in the California central valley is taking its toll on quality so expect some defects.
Lemons – Plenty of product currently available out of multiple regions, including California, Mexico and Chile. Shippers are looking to move product and are listening to offers. Quality is very nice with very few problems to report.
Limes- Large sizes are tighter this week. Supplies are improving on small sizes and shippers are starting to make deals. Restaurant demand is still low, which is preventing overall markets from strengthening. Quality has been ‘hit and miss’ industry wide. Be sure to pre-book volume orders, as there are still occasional supply gaps on most sizes.
Cantaloupes continue their upward price trajectory this week. Production challenges mounted as a result of recent heat and smoke from multiple wildfires. Some acreage had been lost and may fields have had very unpredictable and variable maturation schedules. This week thus turned into a gap week. Demand has been steady. Sizes have been peaking on 9s and jbo 9s then 12s with few smaller. Prices rose accordingly and product will likely be short heading into this weekend and thru about mid next week. We see a higher market developing and lasting through most of next week.
Product has not been as short as cantaloupes, but have also had some production issues. Demand however has been lackluster seemingly for the entire Westside deal this year. The shortage of cantaloupes helped that a bit and prices rose as the week has developed, with sizes continuing to peak on 5s and 6s with ample jbo 5s and very few smaller. Quality on all melons has been generally good. Next week demand should continue to be improved as buyers will look more to honeydews as cantaloupes become higher priced. Mixed melons are virtually done for the season creating more demand, We look for the market to keep rising, although moderately so, thru next week.
All the action is in the Northwest, Nevada and California. The business is steady in the $6-$7.00 range on Jumbo Yellows. Sizes are consistent, with some Colossal and Super Colossal. Reds are steady in the $7 range. There are some Italian reds in the Gilroy area, as well as Salinas.
Mexico is shipping a lot of Asparagus with pricing in the mid- teens. There doesn’t seem to be any let up until at least to the later part of this month. Promotional prices are available from every shipper.
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower and Broccoli Broccoli production continues to take a hit from Mother Nature with temperatures soaring again over the weekend resulting in additional damage to an already diminished crop. Prices are expected to be pushed higher with little relief in sight. Cauliflower production was impacted as well although quality and supplies had been strong entering the weekend. We anticipate supplies to tighten and prices to escalate.
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. Northwest production has been delayed but should start soon with an expected very short window. We expect shortages and advancing prices through the Fall.
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, increased insect pressure and diminished quality . 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 from 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 level off along with prices. Many shippers have shifted production exclusively to bags on All Citrus. Lime quality remains inconsistent but has shown signs of improvement. 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.