Change in seasons is upon us with still warm days but much cooler nights. Markets have escalated rapidly as processors have been active acquiring acreage, Growers are experiencing lower yields related to mildew, rib blight, and tipburn as well as concerns with production areas in eastern Arizona desert hit with hail last week. Although a few weeks away shippers will try to manipulate harvest on current acres to bridge the transition. Demand continues to be moderate but will likely increase as regional local supplies wind down. Transitional production areas in Huron, CA and Las Cruces, NM have been approached by processors as well.
Romaine demand continues to gain momentum as well as Hearts. Pricing has escalated along with iceberg . Growers are dealing with the same quality issues and lower yields although most shippers expect to have a higher percentage of their budgeted supplies through the end of the month. Green leaf, Red leaf and Boston markets have begun to climb as demand has started to swing back to the West Coast and is expected to return fully in coming weeks.
Production from Central California as well as local production in eastern Canada continues to surge. The market has tried to stabilize but currently supplies exceed demand. Quality has been good with some worm, and insect pressure affecting a few growers. Expect demand to improve and prices to firm as we transition to the Fall season.
A slight change to the celery market this morning. 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 took an unexpected increase this week. Harvest yields out of California were far less than what most shippers had predicted. Weather during the last 3 months have taken their toll on the plants and the normal yields per acre of 850 – 950 cartons are off by as much as 50% for most shippers. We could be in this current situation for the next couple of weeks. A large grower on the Westside of the San Joaquin Valley who generally has a fall/winter broccoli program did not plant any broccoli this season. 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 has steadily improved pushing prices higher. We expect a continued trend of higher pricing until quality improves.
Washington-Idaho Demand is just enough to keep up with supply…storage continues with a threat of a hard freeze tonight…There is only 25% of the crop in house…this could be very interesting. Most of the shippers are in a harvest blur and trying to get everything under wraps before any damage is done. Once everything is harvested, we will be able to ascertain what the winter supplies will look like. I’m betting that they will be way under what was available last year.
Prices right now, with light demand, are JY 5-$6.00 Washington and pretty solid $6.00 Idaho. By waiting this long to harvest (to get size) the colossal and supers are in short supply and trending to a few $’s higher that jumbo. Reds are holding steady at the $ 5-$6 range.\
The Washington Oregon Sweet onion (round Grano) is holding at the $10.00 level with demand starting to pick up a bit by the fact that some distributors want to have a two-tier price range. Peru is steady and shipping in the $17.00- $20.00 range
This time of year, there is very little action with no real eating holidays on the horizon and will continue until Canada steps in and improves demand.
We are now shipping out of Salinas, Watsonville, Santa Maria and Oxnard. Pricing is in a $2.00 to $4.00 range with the cheaper fruit up north. Salinas and Watsonville reaching the end of their growth cycle and producing the weaker fruit. The New crop strawberries in Santa Maria and Oxnard are producing the better fruit better quality, thus getting a premium price. We expect the market to continue to experience decent demand in all areas.
This commodity is in fairly good supplies coming mostly out of Mexico and being transferred into the major berry distribution centers on the west coast. The Market is firm with higher undertones. There have been some temporary shortages due to crossings being delayed and transfer logistics failing to perform. Look for availability to increase as we move into next week and we see better numbers coming out of Mexico.
Blueberries will remain in steady supplies out of the West Coast ports of Los Angeles, and the East Coast ports of Philadelphia and Miami. The offshore, SAl product is coming from Peru and Uruguay. Mexican product is being brought in through the McAllen, Texas area and distributed to the major strawberry shipping centers both East and West as well. Quality is outstanding on all imported fruit at this point in time. Look for the market to remain firm.
Blackberries are in short supplies with the Central California season coming to an end and Mexico being impeded by rain and inclement weather. Look for the market to remain firm with higher undertones. Expect these shortages to remain through next week.
Peaches – Domestic production has mostly finished. Only a few sizes are left in inventory and we expect the majority of product to be cleaned up by early next week
Nectarines – production is finished. thee is very little fruit available until the import season begins in a few weeks.
Plums – plenty of product available through November, weather permitting. Markets have strengthened due to higher demand. We expect markets to continue strengthening on reds and blacks as supplies lighten up towards the end of this month.
Red grapes – steady markets continue this week. Good supplies are expected to continue through November, overlapping the import season. Quality has been very nice, and shippers are looking to move volume deals.
Green grapes -Steady supplies this week, although we are seeing late season varieties come early, which will result in supply gaps later in the season. Quality is ok, although there have been reports of soft berry and deeper color. Shippers are looking to move product so please run offers by us on all grapes.
Oranges – supply is lightening up and demand remains strong. Markets will continue to trend upward as the California season comes to a close. There will be a gap between domestic and imported product and pricing is expected to spike. Quality is good overall, although some scarring has been reported on the smaller sizes.
Lemons – Light supplies this week as import volume decreases. Desert lemons have started and supplies are improving daily. Markets remain strong, but should ease up as the desert season ramps up. Quality is nice with very few problems to report.
Limes – Light supplies continue this week. Mexico numbers are still very light and prices are at a premium for the little product that is available. Quality has improved from the past few weeks as Mexico weather has improved although there are still lingering effects from last months storms.
Higher goes the market as the Westside winds down with less volume, smaller sizes and greenish cast. Fall desert deal is off to a stumbling start with rain and hail early last week setting the first fields back. Contracted and committed demand has been steady and enough to keep production near cleaned up. Spot market demand slowly drifted back as their back logged inventories cleaned up emptying the day trading pipeline. Next week this production trend will continue with cooler weather and seasonally shorter days expected. Also fall plantings in the desert are light this year. Demand could slow as we get deeper into fall and melons become less seasonally desirable. Spot market will slow in reaction to current higher pricing. Desert quality and size is good but color will be a bit greener. We look for a steady and firm market next week.
As stated last report after languishing for nearly the entire season honeydews took off. Production on the Westside dipped dramatically as deals came to a sudden end. Sizes fell off as well with less 5s and jbo 5s around, further dropping yields. At the same time the desert area had trouble starting as the same forces that kept cantaloupes from a robust start affected honeydews. Sizes in the desert are larger, there is some scarring. Next week more desert growers should start harvesting honeydews as the Westside continues to phase out. Nogales is expected to join the party as well. Demand should slow down a bit with more buying options and although honeydews are usually more favored in the fall than cantaloupes, we don’t see that preventing a market adjustment by late next week.
OG Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cauliflower Production has leveled off and prices are strengthening. Quality has held steady and should improve as we get into cooler Fall season although intermittent hot temperatures this past couple weeks may affect quality in the interim.
Broccoli Production remains steady while demand has improved pushing the market higher. We anticipate a steady increase in prices through the fall season. Quality remains variable with brown bead , knuckled domes 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 begun to improve which should enable better production with Tops.
Potato Production has transitioned with strong demand on Reds and russets while steady on whites and yellows.
Onion demand has leveled off as most growers have transitioned to their NW production areas while increasing storage supplies. Quality has been very nice.
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 has begun to ease with improved production from Mexico and Arizona deserts beginning. Sizing profiles are leaning towards smaller profile currently but are expected to improve moving forward.
Oranges Valencia’s have begun to decline both production and quality as Choice grades begin to increase while we await the new crop Navels which will start late October.
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.
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. We anticipate pricing to remain near current levels especially for best size, quality with some discounts on smaller , older varietals.
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.