As we look ahead to the weather in the desert for the next 10 days, we see highs approaching 80 degrees, and nights in the 50s. This sounds good, in that it should bring on product more rapidly. But, in talking to many of the shippers, they are saying that they are 2-3 weeks AHEAD of schedule. This means that we could see gaps in product during the next month. We are starting to see that already with romaine, for instance. Some shippers are very light to being out for days at a time.
Trucks are plentiful, and rates are at the bottom for the year.
Long range weather in the desert, as we mentioned, is slowly climbing their temperatures, and the threat of freeze is about over for the year there. Long range weather in our area of Salinas and Central California shows rain, rain, rain. We have been complaining how we are in a drought period and how we NEED the rain. Well, we are getting it, and are thankful for it.
LETTUCE–lighter supplies and stronger market, overall. There is, however, a slight range in price, depending upon the area in the desert and the shipper. Quality is variable, as well. Weights are running around 40-44#, size is medium to medium-large, and heads are puffy to firm. A mixed bag.
BROCCOLI–a range in price here, too. Some shippers aren’t packing ANY crowns, while others have them. Some have few bunch 14s and 18s, while others have them. So, it is worth shopping around for the best deals. Supplies are mostly in the desert, although Santa Maria and Salinas have some product at generally lower prices. But, with the rain we have had lately, the desert is probably the best for quality.
CAULIFLOWER–also a pretty good range in price. Retails are set fairly high, and now demand is only so-so. Some shippers are light in supply, while others have product. Shop around for this one, as well.
LEAF ITEMS–romaine has hit a supply gap. The salad guys are taking much of the product, leaving lighter supplies for the cartons users. This has allowed the shippers to push this market up, and they are taking advantage of it. We are seeing prices $4-6.00 higher than last week at this time. Red, green, and boston aren’t as active, although green is $2-3.00 higher than last week.
CELERY–still a crazy market. We, however, feel things have peaked out, price-wise. The shippers pushed their prices to the top, and now retails are set high, and business has stalled. Still, with the rain in Oxnard, where much of the celery is coming from, we don’t see prices falling much because of slow production and harvesting. Maybe a dollar or so down across the board.
STRAWBERRIES–rain has virtually halted production out of Oxnard and Southern California. There are still berries available out of Mexico that are crossing in San Diego, Yuma, and McAllen, Texas.
ASPARAGUS–better supplies coming on, and lower prices. Also, with some 80’s for highs coming this week, that will also help the growth and supplies. Good item to advertise. They NEED lower prices here for good retails. With the economy the way it is, asparagus is ONE item the shopper can do without.