With cooler weather in the desert, and the East coast starting to thaw out, overall business on most of the vegetable items are starting to pick up. And with that, the shippers are starting to push their markets upward, Items such as cauliflower, lettuce, celery, and some of the leaf items are all showing slightly higher prices. The desert DID get some rain over the weekend, so harvesting is slow today, as the muddy fields are making it difficult to get equipment in and out of the fields. We aren’t sure how high these markets will go, but expect the shippers to push for every dollar they can.
Long rang weather in the desert shows another chance of rain by this weekend, but fairly cool all week. This won’t help product to come on.
Trucks are plentiful, and rates have bottomed out for the Winter, it appears. Most truckers just won’t haul if the load pays less than their costs. In fact, many truckers aren’t even bringing out trucks to the West coast because it isn’t paying to do so. Not to mention the fact that with the economy, there isn’t a whole lot of product to haul out West OR East.
LETTUCE–stronger market here. Prices on palletized and wrap are up $1-2.00/box over last week, and we could see the shippers push for more as the week progresses. We aren’t sure how much higher the lettuce market will go, but perhaps another dollar may do it.
BROCCOLI–wide range in price, with as much as a $2-3.00/box spread in the market for bunch and crowns. Over all, crowns are fairly strong because there isn’t a whole lot of crown material out there. This item is worth shopping around for.
CAULIFLOWER–as we mentioned last week, we forecasted higher prices for this week. Supplies are definitely down, and shippers are already pushing their prices on all sizes of cauliflower. We could possibly see prices jump another $2-4.00 by the end of this week. Forecasted cooler weather won’t help bring on supplies.
LEAF ITEMS–prices starting to jump around a bit. Some shippers are steady today, while others are looking for more money. Some of this has to do with the rain over the weekend that has slowed harvesting, but with the cooler weather, we could see overall prices up a bit as this week goes.
CELERY–market even stronger than last week. Oxnard got a pretty good shot of rain last week that had slowed production. They are also forecasted for more just about every day off and on for the next 10 days, so that won’t help. We see prices remaining VERY firm all of this week, and maybe even stronger, depending upon how much rain Oxnard gets. The desert is going, but supplies aren’t overly heavy there.
STRAWBERRIES–California will basically be a NON FACTOR for a while. February is generally one of our WETTEST months of the year, so we usually don’t count on California to be much of a factor for berries during this month. In fact, it isn’t until April that we start going strong. Florida looks pretty good, weatherwise, for the next 10 days, although there is some rain forecasted off and on. At any rate, even though there are some berries coming out of Mexico, don’t count on California for berries for a while.
ASPARAGUS–supplies not overly heavy, but neither is demand. We are looking to start promoting grass starting in another week, or so, and through the Spring.