Newsletter 11/27/19

Happy Thanksgiving! As we transition to the desert we also transition to a Winter weather pattern as well. Rain is forecast for Thanksgiving Day followed by a shift to much cooler temperatures although not critically cold yet.  For the most part Supplies have been sufficient with the market easing off the highs and appearing to settle at current levels for desert product. Demand has been good especially with some customers shifting more sales away Romaine. We expect supplies to be influenced by the cooler weather heading into December. Quality has been a welcomed improvement from most desert locations.

Mix Leaf
Romaine  as everyone knows is going through an Advisory for product grown in the Salinas Valley. Production from Salinas finished last week so any new production will be from areas NOT included in any advisory . Demand after the initial report has been mostly resilient. Some customers are ordering more iceberg and green leaf but overall demand is still good. Quality is currently very nice with little or no blister. IF critically cold temperatures return to the desert that will change quickly. Green leaf demand surged higher with demand shifting from Romaine. Red leaf and Boston  also got a boast in demand . Expect volatility through December which traditionally has critically cold weather that could interrupt supplies.

Brussels Sprouts
Production from Central California continues to produce heavy volume. The market remains strong with some discounts on small and jumbos sizes.  Quality has been mostly very nice. Expect demand to continue to surge for Christmas Holiday.

Looks like the celery market will open up at trading levels between $13.00 – $15.00 FOB for next week. We expect prices to remain there for the entire week. There will be a slight lull in demand next week but it will start to pick up again the week of the 9th.

Production transitions to Southern Coastal regions and eventually the desert. Demand has been strong for the Thanksgiving Holiday and supplies have been limited on most sizes. Seeded or thornless are the predominant varieties available. The superior edible Heirloom variety will return in the Spring.

Shipper have been looking to make deals all week, especially out of Salinas and Santa Maria. It seems like most shippers were able to get rid of inventory so, especially on larger size 9’s. We expect the market to firm at current trading levels starting next week.  Current cooler temperatures across the state of California and Arizona will also slow down production.

Prices have settled and look like they will sit at current levels going into next week. Some shippers in the Yuma Valley are having issues with pin rot from the rains they received earlier in the month. This will result in low yields for the next couple of weeks out of that area. The product in the Imperial Valley was not affected by any weather and quality looks very good. Price buys will continue to be available in Salinas and Santa Maria next week. Good production out of Mexico continues to come across in Texas and quality has been nice.

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 are coming up a bit for the 1st week in December, as high as $20.90. Peruvian shippers are having a tough time trying to keep up with the Fast Boat deliveries. According to my sources, because of Fumigation: the shelf life on the Peru asparagus is very slim compared to Mexico. But a recent article indicated that Peru is petitioning the USDA to alleviate the fumigation for the months of September, October and November. If that occurs the Peruvian grass would be able to match up with Mexico on shelf life and make it as competitive as it was before Mexico entered the early fall production.

It was also learned that effective November 1st that Peru can’t ship to Australia anymore due to not being able to fumigate. That will be putting more asparagus on the US market.

Due to the late Thanksgiving we will probably have an increase in demand it the 1st two week of December and the market is projected to be in the low to mid $20’s.

Green Onions
Production from Mexico has improved as well as demand. Expect strong pricing through the end of the year.


Yellow onions. The last few runs out of Ontario have finally got bigger. Prior to last week there were very few Colossal and super colossal …this week we are experiencing load volume on supers. All of the packing houses are humming along but they could handle a lot more business. It’s still pretty quiet. Market shouting prices are $6.00 to $ 6.50 on Jumbo Yellows with deals being made on volume. Other sizes are a buck up and Supers are $9.00. Reds are more active in Ontario but you can still get deals on straight loads.

Sweet onions from Peru seem to be holding and shipments are moving albeit slowly.

Numbers are declining in Santa Maria and Oxnard and we will be relying on Mexican Imports for the next few weeks until we hit the real volume Markets are firm with higher undertones moving into the weekend. We are seeing more volume beginning to cross through Texas out of Mexico and Florida. Growers are just starting to see very light production this week. Those numbers will slowly begin to increase as we approach December. Quality has been improving in Mexico as growers rebound from weather-related issues from weeks past.

We are in the midst of consistent and good supplies coming primarily out of Mexico and the market is steady. Quality is just fair with some lots experiencing residual issues with moisture causing early breakdown. Numbers are expected to increase as more strawberries out of Mexico provide better logistical options for transfer.

Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay are making arrivals on both West and East coasts. Mexico has had steady volume and this should continue into next week. Quality has been good.

Lighter supplies will continue out of Mexico. Quality is fair with reports of red cell being reported in most lots. Prices will remain firm into the weekend. The forecast is for increased supplies late next week.

Stone Fruit
Red and black plums are still available, although in limited numbers. product is mostly coming from storage and there have been some reports of soft fruit and bruising. Offshore plums, peaches and nectarines are expected to start arriving within 10 days.

Red grapes – Still good volume on storage fruit available out of California. As of now, quality is holding strong. Some reports of soft berry have been reported but product is otherwise clean. Markets are stronger this week, and we expect even stronger markets next week as we work though storage fruit. Domestic supplies are expected to overlap the first arrivals of offshore product.

Green grapes – lighter supplies this week. Storage fruit is now very light and product is showing age. Many reports of soft fruit and amber. Pricing is elevated from last week as the shortage becomes more widespread. Offshore product is expected to arrive within 2 weeks, which will help with supplies and improve quality.

Oranges – Good navel supplies this week out of central valley California. Quality has been holding up nicely, with more fancy grade available . Nogales oranges have started in good volume. Quality has been adequate out of Nogales and shippers are looking to move product. Run offers by us.

Lemons – Most product coming out of district 3 (Coachella/Yuma areas). Steady markets this week with good volume on all sizes at the current time. Quality has been nice with very few issues to report.

Limes – Steady volumes this week on all sizes. Quality has improved over the past two weeks with good color and structure being reported. We expect better volume next week out of Texas so run offers by us.

As expected the cantaloupe market slipped a bit in spite of the domestic deal finishing. The legacy of recent week’s higher prices combined by winter’s grip across the country and the unseasonal nature of melons this time of year caused demand to all but cease. Quality off shore has been good. Mexico has been variable. Sizing continue to run heavy to regular 9s and 12s off shore and peaking on 12s in Mexico. Next week Mexico supplies should diminish as their season winds down and weather cools there. The Caribbean basin should be in good and increasing supplies. We see no improvement in demand, Post Thanksgiving malaise along with cold weather in the Midwest and East and the unseasonal nature of the product should continue to keep a lid on buyer interest. We look for a lower market next week.

Dews have been in seriously light supplies all fall and into early winter, but that could be somewhat different next week. Domestics are done. Mexico will still have some supplies but not many as Mexico weather will be considerably cooler. Off shore supplies should increase as the delayed start of some will finally be over and they should be arriving next week. The few that have had dews should have more. Sizes in all areas are peaking on 5s and 6s. Demand will be dull due to the same dynamic as has affected cantaloupe interest. We look for a dull and steady to lower market next week on honeydews.


Organic Items

OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower   Production has begun to transition south for the Winter. Some discounts for Northern California product are available but expect the market to strengthen after Thanksgiving. Quality has held steady and should improve as we get into cooler Fall season.

Broccoli    Production surged in time for Thanksgiving demand and the market has softened although expect prices to surge again with the change in weather. Quality remains variable but has been improving with cooler nights.

OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Green production has transitioned South. Expect uneven distribution initially but supplies should even out heading into December.

OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady with improving supplies . Demand has been very strong. Cooler weather will likely impact supplies in coming weeks. 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 change in seasons as growers scrambled to get their final acres harvested and stored . Expect some effects to long term pricing and availability.

Onion demand has been strong for the Holidays. Supplies appear to be adequate and  Quality is currently very nice although as we transition earlier than anticipated to storage shipments expect quality to fall off sooner.

OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg & Romaine   Production has been steady and quality remains good. Demand has improved with post Holiday pull and should continue to increase as supplies affected by cooler weather in the West.  Quality has been good and will continue to improve until Winter Frost sets in later next month.

OG Citrus
Lemons: The market remains steady with good demand for domestic product as production increases while imports wind down . Quality from Arizona deserts remain smaller profile but higher fancy grade.

Oranges Navels production has slowly improved waiting for sizing and sugar levels to improve. The crop is expected to be slightly less than the previous year but flavor and sizing profiles are expected to be excellent with promotional opportunities available next month. We expect strong supplies of mandarins and Caras in coming weeks as well.

Limes:  Much needed rains along Eastern Mexico have improved quality. Sizing and volume are expected to improve as well  The market has eased and should stabilize at current levels .

Grapefruit:  Supplies have transitioned to Texas for the Winter

OG Grapes
California: Supplies from Central Valley of California are finishing up harvest and starting to ship more storage. Offshore fruit is available on either coast. The Red Varietals should hold up better than the Green varieties although expect to see an increase in softness and amber fruit.

OG Avocados 
Mexico:  Steady supplies continue with shifting trend towards smaller fruit due in part to some rain affecting quality. Improved supplies are expected towards the end of the month.

California: Production Has finished up for the season.

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