Newsletter 1/16/19

CA/AZ Deserts have seen minor interruptions from intermittent rain showers keeping supplies moderate. Forecast for mild, near normal temperatures and dry should provide the environment to increase production and lower pricing heading into next week. Quality will continue to show blister and peel which will start to include discoloration especially after rain showers. Demand continues to shift slightly towards iceberg as confidence in Romaine is slow to return.

Mix Leaf
Demand for Romaine continues to improve despite (fake) news reports questioning the safety of the Romaine supply. Although improving , demand is still less than available industry volume keeping the market capped out at current levels. Dry and mild weather forecast should help expedite improved quality but expect to see blister discoloration for a couple weeks although shippers will be trimming the most severe damage in the fields. Green leaf and Red leaf prices continue to be elevated above Romaine with demand still shifting among Salad Bowl commodities.

Brussels Sprouts
Domestic production from Northern Coastal region has been winding down as quality becomes more of an issue with rain still forecast through the weekend in Northern California. Production from Mexico has been slow to start but should increase with improved weather forecast.

Strong markets continue this week. Florida production has been delayed due to cooler weather, putting more of a strain on western celery supplies. Desert plantings are going to be lighter this year, a result of sluggish markets over the past few years. Desert production is expected to start in light numbers later next week. Main production areas continue to be Oxnard and Santa Maria. We expect light supplies to continue for the next 10 days.

Suppliers out of California continue to deal with inclement weather. Rain and wind is forecast through the weekend. Although some areas will be hit harder than other many growers are opting to get into the fields and harvest what they can when they can in between the rains. Yields will be low on California fruit through the end of the week. Much of the demand is being met by the transfer of Mexican product into Oxnard, Yuma, and even Florida distribution areas. Quality is fair out of Oxnard considering the weather conditions. The new crop berries are more resilient than the later offerings that came out of Santa Maria just a few weeks ago. You can expect to see some rain-related issues with berries in the near future.

The majority of blackberries will continue to come out of Mexico. The volume will be light of imported fruit coming in from Guatemala via ocean containers. Quality is generally good out of both countries. The Guatemalan fruit is generally showing up in the Los Angeles and Miami areas. The market is fairly steady with definite lower tones, particularly on lesser known labels.

Supplies continue to be Sporadic in most areas.  The market remains relatively steady, with some mid week fluctuations due to a temporary spike in demand. Raspberries are are coming out of McAllen, Miami, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. The quality has been very good out of all locations . Expect slightly better supplies next week.

Blues are in good supply, with a full range of pack styles and two countries of origin to choose from. Mexico is producing nice fruit right now and it is usually offered with all the other berry varieties at select points of entry In McAllen Texas and San Diego California. The product is then distributed to Santa Maria Ca ,Oxnard Ca and Yuma Az for mainline shipping. There are also import offerings coming in via ocean containers from Chile and is generally available in Los Angeles Ca ,Miami Fl,and Philadelphia.

Prices have started to decline and feels as though it will finish the week out in this manner. Quality out of the Desert growing regions has been very nice. The product out of the Santa Maria area does have some yellow cast mainly due to overcast and wet weather.

Market will remain at current trading levels for the remainder of the week. Harvest volume out of California and Arizona remains somewhat limited due to weather. Forecast for next week will bring slightly better availability. Production out of Central Mexico remains steady with consistent supplies for the week. Some growers are saying that they will come into lighter production next week.

Supplies continue to be tight and markets are firm. 250’s are most limited. Sizing currently peaking on 175/150’s. The quality is good with the limes coming in with good green color.


Production continues steady with improving demand especially on the Heirloom variety.  Most varieties currently are seeded or Thornless. at reduced prices. Production is expected to shift towards larger size profile as the weather improves. Frost and Freeze damage can be found on all Artichokes for the duration of the month although mostly cosmetic it can slow demand.

Stone Fruit
From the West Coast there is limited availability on peaches, nectarines, and red plums. Most of the stone fruit hitting the ports is sold before it arrives. The market pricing will remain high for the next 7-10 days. We will slowly work out of this situation as arrivals increase.

On the imports into the West Coast, demand exceeds supplies on the Red Seedless. A few Green Seedless will be able next week. We expect supplies to gradually improve over the next few weeks.  The next vessel to hit the West Coast is on January 20th.  Market to remain at these higher levels.  From a variety standpoint, most red seedless arrivals are either a Crimson or Flame, with green seedless arrivals expected to predominantly be Sugraones.

Green Onions
Labor and budgeted shortages anticipated and realized over the Holiday’s have been followed by a week of freezing temperatures and now substantial rain delaying production. Weather is expected to improve moving forward although it will take another week before we see any improvement in supplies. Quality continues to be fair with some issues on arrival including occasional decay and some discoloration along with insect damage as product has been “sitting” in the fields for an extended period.

Cold weather and rain in Mexico is severely affecting volume and quality on most varieties. supplies are extremely tight and markets are spiking on what little usable product is crossing. Quality issues include heavy scarring, pitting and decay. We expect these conditions to continue through next week.

Most growers harvested in anticipation of the rains so despite the rains supplies have been steady. Once the rain passes, promotional opportunities will once again be available.  All regions have a good run on all sizes. The market prices are mostly steady with a few slightly lower.

This week rains in the California growing regions have kept the growers out of the fields from harvesting.  If this continues through the week as forecasted, we could start seeing supply shortages mid to late next week.  As we are into a rain market supplies, prices have firmed up a bit. Peak sizes remain 88/113/72/138’s. The quality of the fruit remains to be excellent and brixing at 12-13.

Organic Items

OG Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cauliflower   Production has slowed with the cold temperatures but expect improved supplies following this weeks rain as weather improves. Quality has been very good.

Broccoli    Production on broccoli has also been light but we expect improved supplies by the end of next week. The market has firmed but expect better prices to ease as we approach the second half of the month.

OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Green production has slowed with the cold , wet weather in the desert and Northern Mexico. Supplies are expected to rebound with improved weather.

OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg demand continues to be strong as Romaine market adjusts to demand shift. Expect volatility for the duration of the Winter season .

OG Citrus
 Lemons: Steady production and improving quality has led to better demand and stable pricing.  Mexico and Chile quality is still variable and supplies should hold steady with a higher percentage of fancy fruit expected.

Oranges  Navel production has been strong as well as sizing profiles. Freezing temperatures last week weren’t critically cold to cause damage. Rain this week has slowed harvest but plenty of bins harvested in advance will keep supplies steady. The rain will eventually improve sizing profile once it starts to dry out but expect supplies to stay strong and prices to remain competitive.

Limes:  Improved demand has pricing elevated and cooler weather has tightened supplies. We anticipate better production as weather improves but expect volatility as growers try to manipulate the market.

Grapefruit:  Production is good from the desert and Mexico

Mandarins:  Production  has been strong as well as demand. Prices have been edging higher with supplies tightening on the 10/3 packs due to a labor strike at Wonderful Co which has since been resolved.

OG Avocados 
Mexico: Production from Mexico continues to improve with prices stabilizing but expected to head higher as demand ramps up for Superbowl season . Rain has interrupted production but supplies are projected to be strong through the month but book in orders to ensure full coverage

California: Season will begin in by the end of the month.

OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady with average supplies . Demand has been very strong. Supplies should start to improve as production shifts south for the balance of the Winter season. Continue to plan ahead to get full coverage.

Potato production has finished for the season and whatever remaining supplies will move into storage on Gold, Red and Russets.

Onion demand has been good and production has finished as supplies will be shipped out of storage Expect quality to decline towards the end of the month.

Leave a Reply