Newsletter 12/5/18

Lettuce market continues to hold tight as unseasonably cool weather circulated into the desert production areas tightening strained supplies Fields already stretched as shippers reached to fulfill customers needs now have further slowed due to daily frost delays.  Also potential showers on Thursday could lead to further harvest delays. Next week should bring cool but not severe cold which should help supplies slowly ramp up which is a good thing based on the historically unsustainable high levels currently. Expect continued volatility with the likely potential for the market to correct even with expected improving demand.   Quality from the desert continues to vary with many soft puffy heads and light texture as shippers reach for supplies.
Mix Leaf
Demand for Romaine has slowly, albeit better than expected , returned as consumers fill their Salad bowls. Updated labeling , clearly defining production by Country , State and now Counties or Valleys has helped consumer confidence although not yet fully.  As expected  Green leaf and Red leaf demand went through the roof , and now that romaine has been “reinstated”  demand for Green and red leaf should ease but both have been cut so far ahead to fulfill overwhelming demand with cooler weather forecast expect lighter supplies to coincide with continued rising but foreseeable correcting markets.
Brussels Sprouts
Domestic production from Northern Coastal region continues to be strong. The market has held mostly steady with heavy demand helping keep prices firm. A few quality issues from insect pressure remain but overall quality is good.
Oxnard is now the primary growing location as of this week. Salinas production has mostly come to a close for the year. Quality in Oxnard is good although colder weather in the forecast could result in some blistering of the stalks. Product is being transferred to Yuma on a daily basis for an up-charge.  We expect this market to remain strong through next week as the Christmas pull comes into effect.
The main growing areas which include Salinas, Santa Maria, and Oxnard have all experienced wet weather and cold temperatures Mexico saw some rain in the berry growing regions which has slowed down production. Supplies are light and prices reflecting our situation right now. Shortages will continue over the next few weeks and most likely into and past the holidays. Forecasts are calling for more rain this week. Exact amounts of precipitation vary by region, but all areas are expecting light to moderate rainfall. This will only further accentuate the already dismal supply situation. We can expect to see gaps in harvest and supply as well as compromised quality for the next 10 days. Order fulfillment will be a challenge and will be subject to daily availability and market price. Quality will continue to be a challenge as well. Expect limited shelf life and bruising on most berries.
Good supplies on Blackberries swill continue into next week. Despite the slowed production from Mexico over the weekend, blackberry supplies didn’t seem to be affected at all. There will be plenty of fruit available in all loading locations. Markets are actually softer this week with many suppliers offer deals to keep the product moving.
Supplies are decreasing on raspberries. Production slowed to a crawl over the weekend in Mexico due to inclement weather. Even with improved weather on the horizon, supplies will not increase that much as we have we moved past the first peak of production and supplies will actually slightly for about 2 more weeks until we reach another cycle peak with the plants.
 Blueberry supplies have been lighter this week and markets are higher. This is a result of the cold wet weather in Mexico and the delay of arrivals from offshore supplies. As a result of the recent rains in central Mexico, production has slowed down and has had an impact on available fruit this week. Additionally, due to some hail in Peru and delayed boat arrivals to the U.S, we are seeing a small and presumably short-lived supply gap this week. As we anticipate more arrivals next week and increased production in Mexico, we can conversely expect more availability and cheaper prices. Chilean production is also increasing moving forward.
There seems to be a little more product available this week. Some of the seasonal shippers out of the Imperial Valley have started in a light way. Cooler temperatures are forecasted for the end of the week that could slow growth. Quality out Santa Maria and the Desert growing areas has been fair. Light yellow cast and some soft shoulder is being spotted but is not prevalent through out the industry.
Market will remain strong as we finish out the week. The production gap we are currently in should start to close up the second week of December as production out of the Imperial Valley and Yuma comes on line. We are starting  to see increased production out of Central Mexico and quality is getting better as they are getting into fields that are clean of water spotting cause be early season rains . The weather forecast for Central Mexico is for some cooler temperatures this weekend and into early next week but it should not hinder production.
Lime supplies and market prices are expected to be steady for the coming week.  Supplies will tighten up in mid December through the first of the year.  We are forecasting market prices on big sizes to drop and small size pricing looking to climb during this period.
Production continues steady with improving demand especially on the Heirloom variety.  Most varieties currently are seeded or Thornless. at reduced prices. Production is peaking on Medium size profile Some frost has been reported in Salinas and Mexico and now the desert which will impact quality.
Stone Fruit
The first arrivals of imported stone fruit season is expected for the end of December/first of the year.
Over the past week, the Green seedless market from California has risen $2-4/ cases.  Many growers report their actual yield vs. their forecast came up short on the Autumn Kings.  On the Red Seedless, good supplies are available and will be into early January. The Red Seedless market will be steady to slightly higher for next week. Black Seedless are winding down quickly. Pre-book any supplies you may need for the Holidays. Overall going forward, we will see some split markets depending on age and quality of the fruit being shipped.  The predominant varieties are: Red Seedless- Scarlet Royal, Allison, & Crimson, Green Seedless – Autumn King, and Black Seedless – Autumn Royal.
Green Onions
Production has started to improve mostly on iced Green Onions but ice less supplies as well. Demand should ramp up for Christmas and New Years so take advantage of deals before the traditional New Year labor slow down in Mexico.  Quality should also improve with an improvement in weather.
Current volume has been adequate to keep up with demand. Weather is Mexico is getting colder and rain is in the forecast for some growing areas. With the factors in play, we expect markets to strengthen next week as demand increases for the holiday. Quality will be affected by high moisture and frost.
Good supplies available from the West Coast out of District 1 and District 3 along with the Spanish Imports now hitting the East Coast. Market pricing especially on choice grade fruit was lower this week.  Next week, we are forecasting for pricing to be steady on good demand.  The quality of the lemons from all areas has been great and is expected to remain so for the coming week.
Cantaloupes have changed little, except the non contracted spot market prices are up a bit. Supplies are quite short. Arizona for all intents and purposes is done, but for a few scraps of mostly smaller sizes. Mexico continues to be in non season mode with light supplies that are mostly being used in their own backyard. That leaves the Caribbean basin as the main source of supply and Guatemala is the only area going. Most all of the Guatemalan fruit is contracted in the 111-13.00 range loaded. Sizes are running large. Yields are light and the open spot market has gone up to 22.00-25.00 fob for the few melons that are unsold at this point. Next week should be another short week. Honduras, the next offshore area up is not expected to start until the middle of the month, arriving the last week of December. We look for another week of short supplies available for the open, non contract buyers and high prices.
Supplies are ample in Mexico and light other areas. Demand has slowed due to winter’s arrival. Quality is okay, sizes running a bit smaller. Offshore still has only one areas going and overall supplies there are light due to spotty production. Arizona, like with the cantaloupes are harvesting the last scraps of late fields with smaller sizes and scarring. Next week Arizona will be finished. Mexico should still ship with smaller sizes. Off shore production will be steady and peaking on large sizes (jbo and regular 5s). Demand will be fair due to the nonseasonal nature of the product and consumer focus on winter holiday foods. We look for a steady market on honeydews with some dealing on Mexican product.
California Navels have hit their stride with promotable ad volume and good eating quality available. Peak sizes for the rest of December are expected to be 88/72/113’s. Brix readings are 11.5-12.5. The cooler weather has brought on the natural color so we will be out of gas fruit soon. The only limiting factor will be the occasional rain storm passing over the San Joaquin Valley. Market expected to be steady and we can gladly accommodate your needs.
Organic Items
OG Broccoli & Cauliflower
Cauliflower  The market has been firm with lighter supplies due to cooler weather. Quality has been good with some insect pressure reducing yields. Broccoli  Production will be light until full transition to the desert takes affect. Expect the market to remain strong . Demand has been strong especially from the desert.
OG Herbs & Bunch Greens
Most Herbs and Bunching Green production continues to be limited until full transition to Arizona and Mexico takes place in coming weeks. The markets are expected to remain strong through December.
OG Leaf and Iceberg Lettuce
Leaf, Iceberg has become extremely in demand with prices elevated to unsustainable levels. as Romaine Production rebounds from the CDC advisory expect volatility to continue for another couple weeks.
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 continues to improve although sizing profile is still running below normal.  Expect prices to ease heading into the Winter Citrus season . sizing profile will likely remain smaller through November.
Limes:  Improved weather in Mexico should help increase Supplies. Quality has held steady despite weather interruptions.
Grapefruit:  Production is light and desert supplies expected to ramp up next week. While supplies from Mexico are expected to improve this week.
Mandarins:  Production  has begun and is expected to ramp up in time for The Holidays. Prebook now to reserve your Christmas volume.
OG Avocados
Mexico: Production from Mexico should start to ramp back up from the labor shutdown. Rain is forecast for the area this week which could hamper production but promotional supplies are expected to be available through once supplies fill the channels.
California: Season will begin early 2019
OG Grapes
Green & Red  Central Valley supplies are winding down for the season Some storage supplies will remain but quality will certainly be less after a strong run.
OG Root Vegetables
Carrot Production has been steady with good supplies . Winter advisories forecast for the next couple weeks will likely lead to reduced supplies Continue to plan ahead to get full coverage.
Potato supplies will continue steady with most supplies moving 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 be good through December but could decline by the beginning of the new year.

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