There are signs that business is starting to pick up. As the Eastern deals wind down, we are seeing increased interest on items such as lettuce, bunch broccoli, broccoli crowns, cauliflower, celery, and other items. It will be another 2 weeks or so before all of the Eastern deals finish, but things ARE picking up out West. Now all we need is for SUPPLIES to increase to cover the increase in business.
Long range weather shows our “Indian” Summer kicking in, with warmer days for the next 5-7 days, but night are certainly getting cooler. No rain in sight, and we probably shouldn’t get any until the first to middle of November.
Plenty of trucks, and with the continuing drop in oil prices reflecting in lower gas and diesel prices, rates are dropping. This definitely helps with delivered prices.
LETTUCE–the market has dropped of $2-3.00 from last week, but it could be short lived. As business and demand picks up for Salinas product, prices may firm back up. Retails are set pretty high, so the shippers may not want to push their prices too high. Note that we have about another week, or so, left in Salinas, and then we will switch to Huron. In fact, some shippers say they are starting as early as this Thursday. Some shippers may not have any overlap, others say they will. Overall, we should be able to get supplies out of either area for another 2 weeks. Quality will be “suspect” out of both areas. Either old, tired lettuce in Salinas, or small, light weight, product with defects coming out of Huron.
BROCCOLI–firm market. We are certainly starting to see customers that had previously been loading out of the East coast, switch to Salinas. This increase in demand gets the shippers fired up to push their prices.
CAULIFLOWER–as we expected, lighter supplies and increased demand have allowed Salinas shippers to raise their prices. In fact, we expect them to double their market by mid week over last week. This is all reflective of increased demand from receivers that had been buying from the East coast. Also, supplies out West are fairly light.
LEAF ITEMS–not much change here. Romaine, red, green, and boston lettuces are all about steady from last week. Unlike iceberg lettuce, we should have supplies in Salinas of ALL leaf items well into November.
CELERY–shippers inching up their prices. Demand is only fair for all celery, so we don’t see prices going up too high for another 2-3 weeks. By then, Thanksgiving business will be upon us.
STRAWBERRIES–supplies were REALLY hurt last week after the unexpected rain we had the weekend of Oct. 4-5. Most shippers were stripping their vines to get rid of the rain effected product, so we are just now getting back to normal. Still, Driscoll is, and will be, pro rating their supplies all this week. Also, they have bumped their prices up $2-4.00/box over last week. Today, for instance, they pro rated orders by 50% and more. Overall quality is still just BARELY FAIR. Its just that time of year.