Markets escalated rapidly on futures information of delayed, damaged or lost acres due to storms in the desert areas surrounding Yuma, Arizona. Growers are assessing the damage which was widespread throughout the desert but mostly concentrated in the eastern portion of the desert where most of the early acreage is planted. Some growers are advising of pending severe shortages through mid December while others are still evaluating. The remaining acres in the Salinas and Santa Maria Valley are not sufficient to cover contracts and expected to finish 1-2 weeks early. Seasonally cool weather with help stretch acres but will also lessen daily volume. A Few shippers transition to the Central Valley of California where quality looks to be improved and should provide temporary stimulus to supplies but likely won’t have significant effect on markets . Check with Produce West for additional production areas including Las Cruces, NM to help get you through transition.
Romaine demand continues strong along with Hearts. Pricing has kept pace with iceberg. Growers are dealing with the same issues of advanced current harvest schedules and damaged future acres in the desert but initially reported severity appears to be less. Fewer transitional areas will keep supplies limited but the duration of shortages is expected to be not as long. Green leaf, Red leaf and Boston markets have begun to climb as well and we expect prices to reach same levels as Romaine as demand has swung back to the West Coast and is expected to return fully in coming days.
Production from Central California as well as local production in eastern Canada continues to surge. The market has begun to stabilize and demand has begun to match supplies. Quality has been mostly very nice. Expect demand to continue to improve and prices to firm as we transition to the Fall season.
Demand is still somewhat light although it feels like that is going to change. Michigan is winding down and the MidWest and East Coast buyers are starting to show some interest. Keep an eye on this market. Also of note there is talk that the crop out of the Oxnard area which is scheduled to start harvest around the first of November has some serious quality issues. We are being told the Fusarium virus has affected quite a few acres especially at the front end of the deal. This is something to stay tuned to and we will advise you of any other information we receive on this matter.
Production continues steady while demand has started to improve as well as pricing on selected sizes. Seeded or thornless are the predominant varieties available. The superior edible Heirloom variety will have limited availability at escalated pricing for the next month from Northern California.
The market on Mexican asparagus crossing from Baja has not changed and seems to have found a trading level from $14-$16 on standard with a slight premium for large. Lids of $18-$19 are available for the end of the month. Peru has been cheaper but there are a lot of East Coast buyers staying with Mexico because of the fresher and higher quality of the Mexican product.
As expected cauliflower has been in a demand exceeds situation all week. Very light supplies will be the resounding theme as we go into next week. Quality has been fair at best. We are seeing some rough curd, bruise and light yellow cast on just about everything shipping out of Santa Maria and Salinas. Pre books are advised.
Prices continue to escalate even though there does not seem to be much demand from the East Coast. Harvest yields out of California are still off as much as 50%. Pin rot is the major cause of bad quality and low yields. Pin rot is a fungus borne disease that turns the beads on the domes brown. We could be in this current situation for the next couple of weeks. Central Mexico has availability although prices have increased there as well this week. They are still priced as much as $10.00 lower than what California shippers are quoting.
Production from Mexico has battled hot conditions and recent heavy rains as a result of monsoonal activity in the Gulf which has impacted supplies. Seasonally increased acres should push production but will likely be offset by reduced quality and lighter yields. Demand is expected to steadily improve pushing prices higher. We expect a continued trend of higher yields improve.
The freeze in Idaho is being analyzed by the growers and at this point it’s too soon to tell how much of the crop is damaged. From everything we been able to gather the long-range effects on onions that have been frozen will be a translucency and from the stem end will lead to internal decay. In other words, you won’t really be able to see the problems until you cut the onion. From talking around to many shippers we are being told that about 20 to 25% of the crop could be affected. That being said we may not see the market go up immediately but toward the later part of the deal there will be a lack of supply. Ontario and Washington were not as affected as Idaho, but time will tell.
Better supplies will continue into the weekend. There are 3 price levels with the cheapest from coming from the Watsonville area. Santa Maria in general is generally $2.00 higher than Watsonville and Oxnard is getting the Premium for the New Crop fruit. Quality up North has benefited from the moderate days and cooler nights. The fruit has firmed up and is not exhibiting the bruising it once did a few weeks ago. Quality down south is good with some shippers reporting smaller clam counts, up to 28 per clamshell in some lots but mostly 22 to 24 across the board. Look for the market to continue to be steady although the weekend albeit with downward overtones. We are in the midst of a cooling trend in both areas which should hold harvest numbers on the lighter side.
Increased volume will continue coming out of Mexico . Quality is good and these are a “push” item for some of the larger shippers. There are some great volume deals to be had out of McAllen, Texas and even on the transferred fruit in California and Florida. Look for this market to remain steady in the lower ranges due to the volume of harvest at this point in time.
Three areas are in play right now, with fruit coming out of Mexico , Peru, and Uruguay. The offshore fruit is being shipped out of both Coasts East (Philly and Miami) and West ( LA ) while the Mexican fruit is primarily coming out of California after transfer or McAllen Texas and Otay Mesa , AZ. FOB. Quality has been very good on these blues so far. Look for the market to remain steady through the weekend .
Supplies still remain very limited coming primarily out of Mexico. Weather including heavy rain and hail in some of the growing areas have decimated yields. Transfers into the US should begin to recover towards the front end of next week. Look for the market to remain firm on the higher side until then.
Peaches – Production has ended in California. There are some isolated sizes still available from certain shippers at a premium price. Imports will start arriving in late November or early December.
Nectarines — Production has ended in California. Imports will start arriving in late November or early December.
Plums- Red and black plums are still available. Quality is very nice, and sizing is more on the larger scale. Pricing is stronger than last week, and we expect it to continue trending upward as supplies lighten up toward the end of this month.
Red Grapes – Steady supplies continue this week. Good volume on all sizes and quality is very nice. Shippers are looking to move product so run offers by us.
We expect domestic supplies to overlap the import season in early December.
Green Grapes — Supplies on green grapes are lightening up and much of the product is going to start being held over for in storage as we anticipate transition gaps between domestic and import seasons. Quality will decline as a result of long term storage and we will start to see some issues in the coming weeks. Markets are strengthening, and we expect that to continue for the next 6 weeks.
Oranges – markets remain strong on all sizes of valencias. Quality is holding up nicely with very few issues to report. The navel season is expected to start strong in California towards the end of this month.
Lemons – Tight supplies this week on lemons as central valley and coastal production areas of California finish up for the season. Much of the focus is now being put on desert growing areas of California and Yuma. Production is steadily increasing, although we are still in a ‘demand exceeds supply’ scenario out of these areas. Markets are reflecting tight supplies. Quality is improving.
Limes – limited supplies continue this week. Production in Mexico is still recovering from extreme weather 2 months ago. Quality has improved as a result of better weather and volume is increasing.
As expected the market shot up this week as product became quite short supplied. Westside wound down to nearly nothing and only had smaller size if anything available. The desert, after as stumbling start, also dropped supplies as they moved from first cut to second cut in their early fields and later fields were delayed. Two of the larger suppliers; start date has been pushed back until mid next week. So we find ourselves in a supply abyss, especially on large sizes. Spot market prices shot up accordingly, discouraging new orders, but the light supplies precluded any spot discounts. Next week price resistance will still be present, but the week will start with continued light supplies. However, with new acreage and two new vendors starting this shortage could be mitigated. We look for the market to open tight and high priced with discounting and perhaps lower prices developing toward next weekend.
The erratic saga of honeydews continues. After spending the summer in the doldrums, the supply dropped over the past two weeks as the Westide ended and the desert stumbled as they started. Mexico also started shipping from Nogales but they stumbled after their first pass as well, and the market has shot upwards into double digit territory. Sizes peaked on 6s and smaller on whatever odds and ends were left on the Westside and on 4 and 5s with some jbos on the anemic desert production. Like cantaloupes, it seems the desert and Mexico production will stumble into next week. Westside will be done. By midweek there an uptick in desert and Mexican harvest is expected and to new players in Arizona will be getting underway next weekend or early the following week. We expect the market to stay tight and high priced though early next week, with lower prices appearing toward the end of the period or early the week of 10/28.
OG Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cauliflower Production has leveled off and prices are surging higher. Quality has held steady and should improve as we get into cooler Fall season.
Broccoli Production has been plagued by poor quality while demand continues to push the market higher. We anticipate a steady increase in prices through the fall season. Quality remains variable with brown bead , pin rot and aphid pressure all contributing factors.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Green production remain steady. Expect supplies and pricing to remain steady through next week before local Homegrown supplies are expected to decrease as the weather starts to cool.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady with improving supplies . Demand has been very strong. Continue to plan ahead to get full coverage. Bunch Carrot Quality has improved which should enable better production with Tops.
Potato Production has been affected by sudden freezing temperatures last week in the Northern Midwest states as growers are scrambling to get their final acres harvested and stored . Expect some effects to long term pricing and availability.
Onion demand has leveled off as most growers have transitioned to their NW production areas where cooler weather has set in. Storage supplies appear to be sufficient to carry through the next couple months. While Quality is currently very nice keep an eye out as we transition earlier than anticipated to storage shipments.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine Production has been steady and quality remains good. Demand has started to shift back to the West Coast . Expect continued shift as Eastern local production is weeks or days away from winding down. Quality has been good with some Aphid and Mildew pressure.
Lemons: The market remains steady with good demand for domestic product. Product from Mexico remains available but mostly choice and smaller profile , Limited supply of product from Arizona deserts also with smaller profile but higher fancy grade while Southern California fruit is winding down
Oranges Valencia’s continue their slow decline . We await the new crop Navels which will start late October with expected good flavor and sizing profile.
Limes: Much needed rains along Eastern Mexico have already improved quality and volume. We expect sizing to improve by the end of the month. Currently running heavy towards small sizes. The market has stabilized
Grapefruit: Transition is underway and supplies are expected to gap for a couple weeks until new production areas can ramp up
California: Supplies from Central Valley of California have peaked with most shippers continuing to offer specialty varieties with exceptional color and favor. Sizing should start to decline as enter the cooler Fall season. Also the Quality variance will widen as some shippers begin to store more volume.
Mexico: Steady supplies continue trending towards larger profile sizing. Improved supplies are expected to last through the month.
California: Production Has finished up for the season.