One thing we can say about this Memorial Day weekend, as far as business is concerned, is, WE’VE SEEN BETTER! A combination of the poor East Coast weather, our overall slow economy, and folks staying home, all have added up to a sluggish forecast for this coming weekend. Of course, it could turn out to be better than anticipated, and fruits and vegetables could be flying off the shelves by this weekend. Right now, though, most retailers are bracing for slow sales.
Long range weather in the growing districts of Salinas for vegetables and berries, and into the San Joaquin Valley for tree fruits and grapes, show seasonal normal forecasts for the next 10 days, so product should continue unabated.
Truckers are looking at their calendars and thinking, “hey, its time to push up truck rates!” They actually started thinking that last week, and made all efforts to do that. Their push didn’t happen because of the slow business. In fact, this week appears to be looking sluggish for business, as well, and rates may not take their big Summer jump this week either.
LETTUCE–plenty of product, and prices are getting close to the floor. As mentioned before, May is “lettuce month”, and there couldn’t be a better time to promote. Quality is nice, prices are low, and sales are waiting!
BROCCOLI–stronger market on both bunch and crowns. Crowns, in particular, are a bit tighter, and shippers have pushed their prices up $2-3.00/box over last week. We aren’t sure how long this will last because sales are not that brisk. So, this could be a short lived price hike, and we could see prices drift back down by this weekend.
CAULIFLOWER–another roller coaster ride. Shippers are light and forcing the market up. In fact, they are almost double the market from last week at this time. But, as they push up their prices, retails are going up, and sales will start to drop off. We suggest not ordering too heavily.
LEAF ITEMS–romaine, green, and red are all drifting downward, and, like head lettuce, heading for the floor. More local leaf is showing up, and it won’t be long before the East coast is covered with local leaf. Still, with prices low, and nice quality out here, we are pushing product from Salinas.
CELERY–not much change. Fob price are down a bit, except for the “preferred” labels, but delivered prices are holding firm because of freight rates. Once truck rates start to spike up, delivered prices will too.
–Memorial Day, which is just about the last big berry holiday(4th of July should be decent), wasn’t a real barn burner. Plenty of fruit around, and prices were low. Even Driscoll didn’t do much pro rating! We should have ample supplies for a while, unless the weather turns hot or cold, or both!