The move from Huron to Salinas is just about complete, and it couldn’t come soon enough! Transition time is ALWAYS an adventure, with some items starting, other items finishing, trucks arriving to pick up certain items, only to find out that the item they were scheduled to load is loading at the NEW location. We go through this TWICE a year, EVERY year, and we ALWAYS look forward to settling down for the long stretches. We are now in Salinas for just about all items, and will be until late Fall. We’re happy to be here.
The tree fruit deal is right around the corner. Cherries(Brooks) are starting this week in a light way, followed in a few more weeks with Tulares, then Bings. Early peaches start the end of this week, nectarines next week, then by the middle of May, we will be in full gear.
Long range weather shows that we are currently in a “mini-heat wave” that started yesterday, continuing today, and cooling to normal by Wednesday. This will be followed by a chance of showers in Central California by this weekend. Could be interesting with items such as strawberries and cherries.
Trucks are available, after the past 2 weeks of demand exceeds supply. One problem truckers are battling is the lack of WESTBOUND freight. This is due to the overall economic situation, and that makes it more difficult to get trucks to go back East at a decent freight rate.
LETTUCE–Huron is going to finish this week, and Salinas has already started. Where is the best quality? Well, the lettuce in Huron that is winding down is small, hard, and only so-so. The new lettuce in Salinas is greener and fresher, but has its share of problems, with internal burn and some decay, and light weights. The market is fairly active with the fob price for wrap 24s hitting close to $20 fob last week. This week, we expect a weaker market now that retails are set high.
BROCCOLI–there is PLENTY of bunch 14s, 18s, and crowns available at rock bottom prices.
CAULIFLOWER–overall weaker market undertone, although there is still a fairly wide range in price on 9s and 12s. In fact, we are seeing as much as a $4.00/box spread in price between some shippers and the “preferred” labels.
LEAF ITEMS–we are starting to see better supplies of boston, green and red leaf, so we recommend you don’t load too heavily on those 3 items. Romaine market is down, so no problem there. Salinas will be the major area going now until the Fall.
CELERY–the desert is done, so Oxnard and Santa Maria are the 2 areas of choice for now. Some shippers are transferring supplies to Salinas for mixer loading, and are charging an extra $1.50-2.00/box to have that done. The market on just about all sizes is fairly weak, but now higher freight rates for trucks make the delivered prices of celery fairly high.
STRAWBERRIES-there are PLENTY of berries right now, and with this little heat wave we are having, more and more fruit should be coming on. But, we DO have a chance of rain forecasted for this weekend, which could cause some headaches if we get measurable amounts. This would be just in time for Mother’s Day. Ugh.
ASPARAGUS–continued light supplies and strong market, in spite of the fact that the major ads are done. Overall, the Stockton/Lodi Spring deal was fairly light in supply this year, and continue to be light. So, expect the market to remain steady.